(L-R) ASTERA Consultant Business Consultant Elias Theologou, BRFU President Dr Hj Kamaruddin Dato Seri Paduka Hj Talib and BRFU Advisor Ainol Razman Ghazaly during yesterday's press conference. Picture: Courtesy of BRFU
Brunei will host debutants Mongolia in the Asian 5 Nation (A5N) Division 5 tournament on June 17.
The three-team regional meet, which Brunei will organise from June 16-21, will also see defending champions Cambodia take on Mongolia on June 19. The Sultanate will close out the event with a clash against Cambodia on June 21.
The Brunei Rugby Football Union was confirmed as tournament hosts two weeks ago, according to BRFU Advisor Ainol Razman Ghazaly in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
The news that Brunei would organise the annual event was disclosed during a press conference yesterday in which BRFU announced a partnership with Astera Consultant in a move aimed at promoting the sport's profile in the country.
Astera Consultant will be in charge of promotional and event management matters whilst BRFU will be involved with technical matters, said BRFU in a press release.
Among the projects earmarked for the partnership are two events which will be held next month; the International Rugby Board (IRB)/BRFU Training and Education Super Week from April 22-26 and the Get Into Rugby Festival on April 27.
BRFU and Astera Consultant will also work together in promoting the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
"With this partnership, BRFU hopes it can raise rugby's commercial and other added (interest) values, and work together with commercial rugby investors to achieve its return on investment," stated BRFU in the press release.
A successful Get into Rugby Festival will be key to attracting a healthy crowd at the A5N, with BRFU looking to pique the interest of 1,000 school pupils aged 7-14 with the one-day festival.
Get Into Rugby is the IRB's development programme which aims to grow the game of rugby across the world in partnership with regional associations. It is also targeted at introducing people to rugby and its values of integrity, respect, solidarity, passion and discipline - which inspire millions of people to play the game.
The free-to-access mass participation programme is designed to assist IRB member unions in growing the player base in their country, and the programme provides member unions and their coaches and teachers with the resources and information to progressively introduce children to rugby.
"The festival will get kids from 7-14 years old, both boys and girls, to try rugby - though it won't be contact rugby," said Ainol.
"The idea is to get them to understand the game and we are looking at getting 1,000 kids involved.
"If we can do that, it will be one of the biggest Get into Rugby festivals ever.
"First we want them to try the game, then play (non-contact). If they stay (interested in rugby). Then we can teach them how to be a player.
"On the education part, we're trying get 50 teachers involved so that hopefully in the future rugby will be included as a sport during Physical Education classes," said Ainol, adding BRFU plan to hold discussions with the Ministry of Education on the festival.
Ainol said that they hope to organise inter-school tag/touch rugby tournaments in the future, with 7s rugby competitions also an idea he talked about in the interview with The Brunei Times.
The festival will mark the end of the IRB/BRFU Training and Education Super Week which is divided into three courses over three days; the Get into Rugby Educators Programme, the IRB Level 1 Coaching Course and the IRB Level 2 Coaching Course
The idea of the Training and Education Super Week is the brainchild of BRFU President Dr Haji Kamaruddin Dato' Paduka Hj Talib and is aimed at spreading rugby through educational institutions in Brunei Darussalam.
"Rugby is more than a sport, it is a sport for all and true to its values," said Dr Haji Kamaruddin in the press release.
"Integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect are the core values of rugby, and it is very important for us to sell these values to the players as well to our potential partners... Without promoting (those) values, it is not rugby."