RaboDirect Rebels Assistant Coaches Matt Cockbain and Nathan Grey were special guests at the recent ‘2012 Indonesian Rugby Charity Lunch’ in Jakarta, and while they were there passed on their considerable knowledge to a lucky group of children.
The former Wallaby stars hosted a rugby training clinic for at least 100 Indonesian and expatriate children ranging in ages from 4-18 years of age at the Jakarta International School.
The children were incredibly excited given it’s not every day former players the calibre of Cockbain and Grey teach children about the skills of rugby in Indonesia.
However it wasn’t just the children who benefited from the coaching of Cockbain and Grey. Many of the parents in attendance also picked up plenty of pointers they can use when coaching the junior teams.
Cockbain was particularly impressed with the enthusiasm of the children involved.
“It was a wonderful experience being able to teach the children of Indonesia how to play rugby,” said Cockbain.
“It’s not very often you get to take the game to a part of the world where the game is in its infancy, and they’re just starting to initiate their grassroots program in a big way. A lot of the expats are driving it but the locals are getting involved more and more.
“You could tell the local kids are really enthusiastic about the game. They were really tearing into each other, they clearly enjoyed the contact.”
Not only did Cockbain and Grey get a surprise by the growth and enthusiasm for the game in Indonesia, but also by the support for the Rebels too.
“It was well worth the trip because not only did we get to help grow the game there, but we also found four Melbourne Rebels members,” said Cockbain.
“It just goes to show there are opportunities in South-East Asia where we can market our club to those areas because there’s real appetite for our game there.”
The event raised approximately US$10,000 for the development of rugby in Indonesia.
Rugby has been played in Indonesia as a social sport for more than 30 years, mainly by expatriates living in the country, prior to the formation of the Persatuan Rugby Union Indonesia.
PRUI was formed in May 2004 by a small group of volunteers with the purpose of developing the sport and culture of Rugby Union in Indonesia.
PRUI has been a full member of the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) since October 2005 and an associate member of the International Rugby Board (IRB) since March 2008.