Van Rooyen’s primary task will be to oversee the implementation of World Rugby’s Get into Rugby (GiR) programme among Asia Rugby union members, working closely with these unions to ensure their GiR action plans are in place and conform to World Rugby guidelines.
He will also oversee the integration of World Rugby’s ‘Impact Beyond’ programme which focuses on activating rugby-influenced activities in the lead-up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup, to be hosted in Japan.
Introducing rugby to one million new players across the continent
A highly successful programme across the globe, World Rugby’s Get into Rugby has been embraced by the UAERF since the federation’s inception (in 2011) and found the programme to be a valuable tool to grow the game in local communities that required established structures and pathways to grow the game.
Speaking on his new role van Rooyen said:
“It is indeed an honour to serve the greater Asia Rugby community through this role. I see a bright future for rugby in Asia and I am looking forward to working with the various unions (around Asia) to realise the dream of ‘introducing rugby to one million new players across the continent’. Our successes at UAERF have prepared me for this opportunity, and I can only express my deepest appreciation for the visionary leadership and support I have received from the Board and all the members of the UAERF team.”
Asia Rugby Honorary Secretary General and UAE Rugby Secretary General, Qais Al Dhalai commented:
“We are very proud Ben has been recognised for his impact on growing the game at local grass roots level, and subsequently selected by Asia Rugby to take on this important role of introducing the game across Asia. All at the UAERF wish to thank Ben for his untiring, successful efforts in delivering the GiR programme and his commitment to our Player Pathway Programme. We wish Ben the very best and will be watching the progress of Get into Rugby across Asia with great interest.”