Jungle Crows RFC, the rugby club set up to help Indian street children, have hit Bollywood with a film telling their story previewing in Cannes earlier this month
The Jungle Crows were started in 2004 by former British diplomat and rugby fanatic Paul Walsh in Kolkata, West Bengal, with the intention of helping Indian street children with tag rugby. But so taken were the children by the sport, that Paul managed to get them entered into a tournament in England just three years later. Overcoming an assortment of obstacles including the fact street children don’t have passports, Paul then helped the team of under-14s to the final against a team from South Africa, which they won, 19-7, with South African legend Chester Williams there to present the trophy.
It was then that Rhino got involved, teaming up with the RAF Spitfires sevens team to send the Jungle Crows one of the world’s best-selling scrum machines, the Premier Sled, much used since and rumoured to be one of biggest items ever delivered by diplomatic pouch – to the British Consulate in Kolkata. The machine was also blessed before use by a Saduh, an Indian holy man, see below.
Going from strength to strength, today, the Jungle Crows run sides for men and women, adults and juniors. The senior men’s side have been Indian league champions four times; the women’s side came second in the first-ever women’s championship; they’re regulars on the sevens circuits; and their under-17s are current India champions. A true rags to riches story, there were several attempts to make the film before Bollywood Hollywood Productions finally succeeded.
The film, Jungle Cry, was part filmed in Swansea, with Nigel Owens making an appearance.
Rhino CEO, Reg Clark, commented: “At Rhino we absolutely love grass roots rugby and are delighted that the sheer romance of Paul Walsh’s achievements with the Jungle Crows has been recognised by Bollywood. We are delighted to be a small part of the story.”
“The adjustable heads also mean that whatever the size or age groups that are working on the machine, their pushing position will never be compromised because of the width of the machine, making it much safer to work on.
For more information on the Jungle Crows, visit junglecrows.net, for more information on the Premier Sled, click here