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Officials ‘extremely elated’ at Cambodia’s return to Asia Rugby

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times Share:
Young girls playing rugby during a tournament last year in Phnom Penh. CFR

Top officials of Cambodia Federation of Rugby (CFR)have expressed their happiness with the Kingdom becoming a member once again of Asia Rugby.

Yesterday, the governing body for rugby in Asia announced that CFR is back to being an associate member together with the Iraq Rugby Committee and Palestine Rugby Committee. The Afghanistan Federation of Rugby became a full member at the same time.

Asia Rugby, which is the biggest regional component of World Rugby, has 34 countries as members.

Cambodia’s membership in Asia Rugby was suspended in the past due to lack of ‘documents’ , governance and players, among other reasons.

In the last few years however, the CFR has been working to return to the Asia Rugby fold and applied for re-admission recently.

In a statement posted on the Federation’s Facebook page, Tan Theany, the president of the CFR, said they are extremely happy that their application has now been accepted.

“Returning to Asia Rugby has been the CFR’s main goal for the past 4 years and we have been working hard at youth, adult and administration levels to make sure we fulfill all the conditions to become Asia Rugby Associate members,” she said,

According to her, the time and effort they have invested have paid off.

“The team at CFR have worked tirelessly to make this happen and now it has paid off. We know that this membership will bring many positive resources and benefits to Cambodia so we, as the Federation, can promote and develop the sport of rugby in the most effective way possible,” she noted.

Tan said they can move faster to achieve their goals as a member of Asia Rugby, while also strengthening their relationships with rugby federations of other countries.

“Our goal as ever is to provide our participants a fantastic pathway to progress in rugby around Cambodia with our partnerships. We are associated with our Olympic Committee, Ministry of Education and many NGO’s and Schools for rugby growth, and now that we are member of Asia Rugby, we can move faster towards our goals,” she stressed.

“We are also extremely excited to strengthen relationships with our fellow Asia Rugby members to have more international competition and training seminars around Asia after joining our first Asia Rugby Grow the Game conference in Malaysia in 2019,” she added.

Before COVID-19 struck, the CFR has been making progress in its campaign to develop and promote rugby. The Federation has been hosting many competitions in Phnom Penh and other parts of Cambodia.

Benjamin van Rooyen, a development and participation consultant at Asia Rugby, flew here all the way from the United Arab Emirates to conduct a training for 20 players who then were able to achieve their World Rugby Level Coaching certificates.

John Mojsa, the rugby development officer of the CFR, said being a part of the Asia  Rugby family is going to allow them to grow rugby in Cambodia a lot faster.

“I am extremely happy that after a lot of hard work we are now associate members of Asia Rugby.  It will provide us resources and competitions in Cambodia and around Asia for our players to compete and learn in,” he said.

Mojsa said they are excited for the COVID-19 pandemic to be over, so they can start to plan for the future and take rugby to the next level. The CFR’s goals include fielding successful rugby teams at the 2023 Southeast Asian Games.

“I would like to send my highest respects and thanks to Asia Rugby President, Qais Abdulla Al Dhalai. A huge thank you also goes out to Benjamin Van Rooyen who was been a great help and has guided us through this journey for CFR,” he ended.

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