The outbreak of COVID-19 has severely affected the sports ecosystem across the globe. Lockdown measures have led to big-ticket tournaments like the NBA, Olympics, the English Premier League being delayed. In India as well, sports have taken a backseat as the present lockdown moves to its fourth phase.
Without any action unfolding on the field, sports federations, coaches and players alike are taking the recourse of online training sessions, virtual tournaments to stay in touch with their respective games. In an attempt to keep all its stakeholders engaged, Rugby India has brought an innovative online learning program that aims to benefit the players, coaches and even the fans of this sport.
As players find it difficult to cope up with keeping physically active at home, the Indian Rugby Football Union aims at being able to impart information, which would uplift their knowledge and technical understanding of the game.
Sourojit Ghosh, Rugby India’s Training & Education Manager said, “Rugby India has provided a platform of learning for all stakeholders of the game, wherein they can gain free access to over 20 sections of learning. A player can learn about the laws, a referee can know more about coaching patterns, a coach may want to know about the medic’s job.”
The training and education programmes are aimed at encouraging the players, coaches, officials, and fans to take up online courses that are readily available on the World Rugby passport page and are free of charge. There are over 20 free courses accessible to anyone who would like to learn about the various aspects of the game, including Rugby Ready, a programme through which anyone can have a basic understanding of the game. Then there are programmes on Laws of the Game, Match Officiating Programme, Coaching Children course, Concussion Management Programme, to name a few.
These courses are learners friendly and one can even test their knowledge of that particular topic by taking the exam for the same.
At this time, all of Rugby India’s community is taking these online courses to learn more about the game and brush on their skills. On completion of exams, they are also provided with a certificate of completion. Rugby India will also be conducting webinars through which they will promote detailed discussions of the game and keep the off-pitch learning growing amongst its coaches, player and officials.
Participants from Odisha, Bengal and Maharashtra have shown interest and completed various modules of the course. It is a time when, coaches baffling over referees on-field decisions or referees who are unaware of player injury management, can brush up their knowledge on the other aspects of the sport they had previously not ventured into.
Sourojit explains, “This is an open platform for people trying to learn new things during this period. People interested in the sport can get access to various resources on the Get Into Rugby page or World Rugby Passport site to know more.”
With the programme in place, Rugby India aims to well utilise the lockdown phase by increasing people’s awareness of the various avenues of the game and achieve standardisation of gameplay once everyone is back on the pitch.