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Goat grabbing to ball grabbing


Goat grabbing to ball grabbing

Rugby has only been played in Afghanistan for two years but interest in the sport is rapidly spreading in the war ravaged country - day by day the number of players increases and it was recently introduced to girls.

From buzkashi to rugby
The main reason behind the interest in rugby is the national game of Afghanistan, buzkashi, which is a cross between rugby and polo. Horsemen use a goat carcass as a ball. Most of the players say that buzkashi is a tough sport because you can fall from your horse and the goat is very heavy too to lift.

Nowadays, buzkashi is not played by many because it is not possible for everyone to buy a horse for themselves, so the game is not developing and does not have any regional tournaments.

Rugby was warmly welcomed by boys in Afghanistan and they are enthusiastic to learn. There are some amazingly talented players because of their physiques and stamina. The main thing we need is technical education and experience.

We will not have much to do, since the Afghanistan Cricket Board has already shown the path to how to succeed and reach goals. Afghan cricket is now shining and, if we follow them and keep the momentum going, we will certainly reach a good position in rugby.

Promoting gender equality
As the CEO of the Afghanistan Rugby Federation (ARF) and founder of rugby in Afghanistan, I would like to announce that we have moved one step forwards in rugby and started introducing rugby to school girls. I would like to add that, historically, girls in Afghanistan have not played buzkashi but they will be playing rugby soon.

On 11 June 2013, we gathered an estimated 600 girls along with their sport trainers at a Kabul girls' school. We distributed leaflets and explained rugby to them.

Thank you to Ms Kharoty, the principal of the school, who has vast experience in working for the development of women in Afghanistan. She is committed to helping us in our future activities and we will certainly need women who are willing to train girls.

At the end of the conference we distributed application forms and were pleased that more than a hundred girls are ready to join our practical rugby training next week.

If you would like to be part of the development of rugby in Afghanistan or find out more, connect with Asad Ziar (logged-in users only).

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team.]


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Asad Ziar


Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 23:00