Even though it’s been years since Damien Syed (centre) kicked a football or Bruce Bucknell (right) tumbled to the ground in a tackle, they agreed with Paul Walsh that there’s nothing like sport to drive home values and a sense of discipline. Integrity, respect, solidarity, passion and discipline are some of the values that those involved in the Spirit of Rugby programme have attained and must continue to propagate.
The United Nations General Assembly declared April 6 as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which highlighted the role of sport in social progress. Which is why Jungle Crows took to the Maidan to wave white cards on April 6. After all, Khelo Rugby, a Jungle Crows sports-for-development project, was awarded the Spirit of Rugby partnership by World Rugby. The white card served as a symbol of commitment to peace efforts worldwide and sports organisations around the world were invited to demonstrate their support for the cause by waving the white card on April 6.
(L-R, first row) Jungle Crows founder Paul Walsh, British deputy high commissioner Bruce Bucknell, celebrity chef Shaun Kenworthy, orthopaedic surgeon and chairperson of Jungle Crows Shaikh Hassan Iqbal, French consul-general Damien Syed and Nandu Chandravakar of the Bengal Rugby Union.
The others selected for the Spirit of Rugby were Rio Rugby F.C., SOS Kit Aid, Terres en Melees and Trust Rugby International, who have activities in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.
The four tenets of Khelo Rugby
♦ Taking a safe and enjoyable sporting experience to disadvantaged communities.
♦ Building a constructive curriculum that focuses on a different theme every month. “Growing Up with Rugby” is the theme for April, where the stories on how the sport may have changed lives are shared.
♦ Incorporating a scholarship system for children to help them complete school or college. More than 50 children have received scholarships.
♦ Developing leadership skills amongst Khelo Rugby kids.
Text: Ramona Sen. Pictures: B. Halder