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First Post-Pandemic Rugby Youth Tournament in West Java

The first West Java rugby sevens youth tournament since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic took place on 21 May 2022. It was also the biggest ever youth sevens tournament in West Java, contested by six boys’ teams and five girls’ teams.

The Priscilla Hall Memorial Foundation (PHMF) and Indonesian Rugby Union (PRUI) sponsored the event, which was initiated by the Komodos Rugby Football Club and hosted at their fields in Jagorawi.

Youth rugby in West Java is still its early stages of development, but it is growing. The Komodos is the only Indonesian club that caters for all ages in junior rugby, from Under-7s to Under-18s. Our Under-17/18s teams played in the April tournament. Youths from PRUI’s official city and regency programs also played and were capped for Under-21 players. One of the tournament’s objectives was to promote youth rugby in West Java, ultimately giving more children a chance at experiencing rugby.

During the pandemic, PHMF provided funding to assist with vaccinations for village children who play for the Komodos. At present, 80 children in the Komodos Juniors are from villages nearly our rugby grounds. Many of them have been playing with the Komodos for over five years. With the ongoing sponsorship of PHMF and others, they continue to receive opportunities through rugby and can equally experience the delight of participating in sports events.

The Komodos’ boys and girls took third and fourth places respectively in the West Java tournament, which is a good result, given that our players are mostly under 17. This tournament gave the Komodos a long-awaited taste of competition and we are sure that these kids will perform better in the years to come.

During the tournament, one of the Komodos junior players was noted for her talent and subsequently gained selection to represent West Java at the Indonesian National Rugby 7s Championships.

With continued support from PHMF and others, we believe that more of our Komodo children will be selected to play at the provincial level. Some have already caught the eyes of even the national selectors. With provincial selection, children from villages can receive opportunities to obtain scholarships at good provincial schools and universities.

The Komodos Juniors are looking forward to the upcoming season, which starts in mid-August, ready to develop the next players for regional tournaments and national competitions. Most of all, we are looking forward to the excitement, friendships and fun that are integral parts of the Komodos Juniors extended family. Thanks to the support of our sponsors, the future of Indonesian rugby looks bright.

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