Odisha Government signs agreement with Rugby India till 2023

The Odisha government aims to improve its growing image in the national sporting ecosystem after its latest agreement with the Indian Rugby Football Union.

The Government of Odisha and Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU) signed an agreement to sponsor the Indian national rugby teams for the next three years, till 2023, at the Kalinga Stadium on Tuesday.   -  Special Arrangement

The Government of Odisha and Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU) signed an agreement to sponsor the Indian national rugby teams for the next three years, till 2023, and facilitate high performance training and conditioning of the players.

The sponsorship will be extended towards training, conditioning and incentivizing the Indian national rugby teams (men & women) participating in international rugby events.

Odisha Sports director-cum-additional secretary R Vineel Krishna and IRFU president Maneck Unwala signed the agreement on Tuesday on behalf of the two parties in the presence of Odisha S&YS Minister Tusharkanti Behera, Sports secretary Vishal Dev, IRFU CEO Naseer Hussain, former Rugby International player Rahul Bose, IRFU Board Member and Head U.K. Mohanty and senior officials of the S&YS Department at the Kalinga Stadium here.

Speaking on the occasion, Odisha Sports Minister, Tusharkanti Behera, highlighted, “This is a significant partnership for us. In recent years, we have seen a steady rise of Rugby in terms of popularity and participation, particularly the participation of young players due to the commendable efforts of Rugby India.

"And this partnership between Govt. of Odisha and Rugby India will not only help develop the sport of rugby further in Odisha and India, but also support and strengthen the high performance training of Indian National Rugby Teams," the Minister said on whose presence the Odisha Government and the IRFU signed the three-year agreement.

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Odisha has been one of the front-runners in promoting rugby amongst other sports disciplines and has produced some famous names in Indian Rugby.

Rugby India President, Maneck Unwala complimented the efforts of the Odisha government.  "We thank the Government of Odisha with special mention to the Department of Sports & Youth Services (DSYS) for their continued support. On behalf of Rugby India, I am pleased to welcome them as Associate Sponsors of the Indian National Rugby teams. I am confident that the shared core values and vision of Odisha and Rugby India will ensure that this partnership thrives and is beneficial for our rugby athletes."

"The Odisha Government is dedicatedly working towards their vision of 'Sports, a priority for Odisha', by developing the state as a hub for major sporting events and creating international standard high-performance training centres in multiple sports for the country," he added.

Former India Rugby Player and actor Rahul Bose also marked the agreement as a historical landmark for India Rugby. “This is a historic day for Indian Rugby. Thanks to this sponsorship from the Govt of Odisha, national rugby players (women and men) will, for the first time ever, be paid for their services to the Indian rugby teams. This marks a first, solid step towards making rugby a professional sport in the country. Today we celebrate the long-standing partnership we have with Odisha as we pave the way for a bright future for our athletes," Rahul said.


With this agreement, the Odisha government expects to further build the brand image of Odisha in the national sporting ecosystem in recent years. "This association with Rugby India is expected to further build the brand image of Odisha which has emerged as an important cog in the National Sporting ecosystem in recent years," read a statement in its press release.

"The partnership is based on Odisha Government’s mission to develop, promote and expand the Sports ecosystem beyond Hockey and Football. After sponsoring the National Hockey teams in 2018 for a period of five years, and later supporting the ISL team -Odisha FC, State of Odisha has set another benchmark today by sponsoring the National Rugby Teams," it also mentioned.

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