We’ve been busy in Uganda – here are a few facts & figures:
The Tag Rugby Trust was conceived and developed first in Uganda back in 2002. All activity in the country is now managed by a two-person team based in the capital, Kampala, and supported by a broader team of volunteers throughout the country.
Uganda, roughly the same size in land area as the UK, is the second largest landlocked country by population after Ethiopia. Although it has been an independent country since 1962, the government structure is still changing, and political instability has led to persistent economic decline. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy and the country’s main exports are fish/fish products, coffee, tea, gold, cotton and oil.
Tag rugby in Uganda is a huge success story for TRT, who currently support 39 clubs in over nine districts across the country. Since our first tour, we have worked with hundreds of schools and teachers, and thousands of children.
First Community Clubs
It’s in Uganda that TRT first focussed on building and developing the community club model – these clubs, as well as being a centre for playing tag, are effectively “community centres” that act as social hubs and where our broad education programme is delivered. In return for our input of training, support and resources, community clubs offer tag sessions, training and development modules, plus run events, tournaments and community outreach. As well as the obvious sport based modules – coaching, refereeing, first aid, special needs/abilities coaching, etc. – the syllabus also includes business skills – events organisation, budgeting, media & journalism, etc. – all of which ensures the clubs sustainability, up skills the volunteers and, importantly, provides a place to practice what has been learned. These clubs have now become the bedrock of our programmes and are being rolled out to all the other countries we work in. Find out more about them on our What We Do page.
England Counties Engagement
In 2012 TRT convinced the RFU to send their England Counties team on tour to East Africa, with some test rugby fixtures in Kampala, Uganda. The team used their “down-time” to participate in TRT community tag programmes and, for many of these team members, this time engaging through rugby with young people from challenging backgrounds was their most enduring memory of the tour. There is a great video and report on the England Rugby website.
A Bright Future
In terms of sport, today there are TRT Graduates in both the Senior Men and Women’s international rugby teams, and the current U19’s are brimming with TRT Graduates and young leaders. In broader terms, the success of local community clubs and other special projects, like “tag and women’s development”, mean that TRT’s impact is hugely positive and far reaching.