“The game started in 2011 and was registered on 4 June 2013. The discipline got its recognition letter on 22 July 2014 and the association has since been receiving letters from different countries to participate in their competitions”, he said, adding some of those countries that had extended invitations to them included Australia, Senegal and Ghana but that they had no money to participate.
He said there were 7 male rugby clubs currently in the country and 3 female clubs, all of them had held their training sessions at the because they had sandy and grass rugby games. He said they had tried to organize a national league but again the issue had been that they had had no approval to access possible venues for their competitions.
“The president Ernest Bai Koroma is also aware of the existence of rugby in the country. In fact the trophy won by the Under-14 was presented to him and he was very pleased with the achievement,” he said.
Desk officer at the ministry of sports, George Dakowa, said they had encouraged all sporting disciplines that were registered with the ministry to present their annual budget to them, noting that they would not provide funding for any sporting discipline that was yet to organize a national event.
He added: “The ministry had asked for the annual activity plan of the rugby association which they have not done. The ministry does not support any discipline that is not nationwide. We know rugby is a discipline that is recognized in the country.”
Dakowa called on sporting disciplines to present their challenges at the on-going sport conferences being held in every part of the country, adding that they knew that rugby was only in two districts – Bombali and Western Area – and was not present in other districts, which was why they couldn’t cater for them in their national budget.
Meanwhile, the Rugby Africa would endorse the membership of the Sierra Leone rugby association on 29 November 2016 at a conference to be held in Burkina Faso. The association applied for membership after their 2-year existence as a condition to qualify as a member of the African Rugby association.