2,500 participate in rugby festival

KATHMANDU, Dec 11: The World Rugby’s Project Asia 1 Million target, a key part of the Rugby World Cup 2019, also known as the Impact Beyond legacy program reached a little closer on Saturday as a total of 2,500 people took part in a rugby festival at Tundikhel in Kathmandu.

The program, inaugurated by Vice President Nanda Kishor Pun, was participated by adults as well as children from around the city and saw many get their hands on a rugby ball for the very first time, as Nepal Rugby works to expand the game to the larger section in Nepal. 

The Trophy Tour supports World Rugby’s Impact Beyond program which aims to use World Rugby tournaments as a catalyst for the growth of the game. Project Asia 1 Million, part of Impact Beyond, aims to attract one million new rugby participants by 2020, and has already involved over 900,000 people across Asia.

This is the first time that the Webb Ellis Cup has visited Nepal and saw it reach its highest point to date– 5,500m up in the Himalayas at Kala Patthar in the Everest region– where it wa s joined by England’s former World Rugby International Sevens Player of the Year, Ollie Phillips.

The Trophy also visited some of the spectacular temples around Kathmandu, including Swyambhunath Temple, Patan Durbar square, Boudanath Stupa and Pashupatinath temple.

Nepal is tenth country on the 20-nation journey and the final stop for 2018. It was the 5th time the trophy has visited Asia on this tour, with previous stops including Hong Kong, China, the Philippines and India. The next stop is set to be Malaysia in January as excitement continues to build for Asia’s first Rugby World Cup in Japan. Next year will also see the Webb Ellis Cup visit Pakistan, Brazil and Chile in the lead up to the tournament