A charity that helped kickstart rugby in Rwanda less than twenty years ago has been shortlisted for the Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award.
Friends of Rwandan Rugby was set up in 2004, three years after one of its founders, Emma Rees, started introducing rugby to local schools while working in the country on a VSO scheme.
Since then, and from a starting point where Rwanda’s rugby supplies consisted of one rugby ball, the charity has played a huge role in supplying kit, equipment and training coaches across the nation. This year that support culminating in Rwanda reaching the biggest stage, as they played their first-ever Rugby World Cup qualifier against Ivory Coast.
Reg Clark, CEO of Rhino, said: “Put simply rugby wouldn’t exist in Rwanda if it wasn’t for Friends of Rwandan Rugby – it has made such a huge contribution in helping the development the sport and this year’s Rugby World Cup qualifier is a testament to work they have done in growing the game.”
One more finalist will be announced next week, with the winner announced on 17th December, 2019.
Previous winners of the Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award
2015 TAG RUGBY TRUST (UK)
2016 KAMPUCHEA BALOPP (Cambodia)
2017 SKRUM (Swaziland)
2018 SHIBUYA INTERNATIONAL RUGBY CLUB (Japan)