The Youth Rugby Development Program was initiated in 2009 with the aim of providing a healthy and new alternative for boys who were tempted by the gangs and drugs culture on the island.
Physical activities, sports and associated programs play an important role in social transformation. It is essential to the holistic development of young children’s physical well-being, social and emotional health as well as academic performance.
The program is run in partnership with Patrick Cotter from the Phuket Vagabonds Rugby Club and has had a high level of participation by children introduced via Asia Center Foundation (ACF) to the sport.
Coaching is done by foreign volunteers and Thai staff. The program so far has produced a player currently playing for the Thai u/19 National team. The ‘Phuket Lomas Rugby Club’ has been established and children from various primary and secondary schools have become members. Amazing new opportunities have been provided thus far to participating students, such as being invited to participate in tournaments both locally and abroad. During 2011, ten young players were invited by Touraid, a UK Charity organization, to participate in the Mayor of Manchester’s Rugby week in Manchester. This was an enormous opportunity for the boys as none of them have ever been on a plane before. Other opportunities included playing against teams in Singapore. Lack of facilities and proper training gear has not discouraged the young players to come to practice regularly.