Odisha To Sponsor Indian National Rugby Teams For 3 Years

The Odisha Government has signed an agreement with the Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU) to sponsor the Indian national rugby teams for a period of three years. The state government will facilitate high-performance training and conditioning of the players till 2023.

The sponsorship will be extended towards training, conditioning and incentivising the Indian national rugby teams (men & women) participating in international rugby events.

On behalf of the Odisha government, Vineel Krishna, Director-cum-Additional Secretary signed the agreement. Maneck Unwala, signed the agreement on behalf of IRFU. The signing was done in the presence of Odisha Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera, Sports Secretary Sports Vishal K Dev, CEO, IRFU Naseer Hussain and actor, director and former Rugby International player Rahul Bose.

“This is a significant partnership for us. In recent years, we have seen a steady rise of rugby in terms of popularity and participation. This partnership between Odisha Government and Rugby India will not only help develop the sport of rugby further in Odisha and India but also support and strengthen the high-performance training of Indian National Rugby Teams,” said Minister Tusharkanti Behera.

Odisha has some of the finest rugby players representing India. Players like Sumitra Nayak and Hupi Majhi have brought laurels to the state.

Actor and former rugby international Rahul Bose termed the project as a ‘historic day for Indian Rugby.’

“This is a historic day for Indian Rugby. Thanks to this sponsorship from the Government of Odisha, national rugby players (women and men) will, for the first time ever, be paid for their services to the Indian rugby teams. This marks a first, solid step towards making rugby a professional sport in the country. Today we celebrate the long-standing partnership we have with Odisha as we pave the way for a bright future for our athletes,” he said.

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