We have seen it, we know about it – rugby have been around the same time football and badminton became popular in our country, but it has never reach the same heights as those sports.
In badminton, a sport we are good at in international scene, we have Lee Choong Wei. In football, a sport very much popular here, but with abysmal performance in international scene – we have Safiq Sali as household name.
Even in hockey, bowling and squashy, we did have Minarwan Nawawi, Syazlin Zulkifli and Nicol Ann David as household names who are known not just among the sports fans, but act as unity icons for all Malaysians.
Why don’t we have the same for rugby?
Here, we list things to do to make rugby popular in Malaysia
- Intense promotions
Let’s take a look at previous Rugby World Cup 2019 held in Japan. As other sports events, the likes of football or badminton, the hypes are high whenever there are international championships on screen. Well, we must take advantage of these international popular rugby events to be promoted to Malaysians across all walks of life. On the other hands, means of spreading rugby to the masses must be supported – our magazine Ragbi.MY aims to do that; promoting rugby scene and popularizing the sport.
Now, let’s make rugby accessible to all Malaysians both in terms of facilities and spirit. We hope our education system to give rugby as much attention as they have towards other sports; football or badminton. The main case for us to do so is because rugby welcomes everyone – we’re the only team sports that does not discriminate body sizes. From the smallest guy in class to the biggest, all will have a role to play in the game. And for fellow rugby players, let’s welcome everyone who wants to play. We never know people’s potential until we give them opportunities to do so.
- Money? It should not be a problem.
Well, this is a bit sensitive. Do we have funds for our players to play at tournaments? Why do we often hear there are budgets allocated for certain rugby development programs, but are the allocations were effectively distributed and utilized? We believe rugby development should not be in the hands of the few who has access to cash.
- Great coach – everywhere, anywhere
It takes a village to raise a child, they say. Then, it’ll take the whole nation’s effort to make rugby a popular game. Not many know how to play rugby, considering that many were not exposed to play when they were young. Now, many rugby clubs and coaches are doing clinics, coaching classes and volunteering to train school players. This is a good development and we must cherish these efforts.
- Endless competitions
When there nonstop cycles of rugby tournaments, we expose rugby to the larger masses. In a way, it does help these rugby players to have something to look forward to when there are tournaments.
Let’s keep it clean folks! Good values bring harmony, and let’s make rugby focus on winning culture, keeping the games clean from corrupted behaviors, offensive actions and unnecessary fights.
- Starting early
As in the case of New Zealand, the talents are spotted early across the country. These have enabled the development program to be properly organized. Apart from that, media also plays a part in conveying the positive message about rugby among the kids. The Small Blacks TV, a kids TV channel, aims to encourage kids as early as 4 to take up rugby.
- Celebrity players
You might question this premise, but hey, take a look at the sports we have mentioned early on – football, badminton, squashy etc. We at ragbi.MY want to promote these players. Reach out to us to promote your teams, clubs, services and we would like to be a part of that journey of making rugby great in Malaysia!