Rugby Seven’s inclusion in this year’s Olympics has increased its popularity all over the world. Societe Generale, the French multinational banking and financial services company, is now on board as the ‘Financial Partner of Rugby India’ to promote the sport across all categories — Senior, Junior and Women in the country.
As part of Societe Generale’s ‘Citizenship Programme’, they aim to support underprivileged communities through education and sports. World Rugby’s ‘Get Into Rugby’ (GIR) programme, is an initiative for Rugby India to teach rugby at schools and motivate children to get into the sport. Kick-started in India in July 2013, the GIR programme has reached over 30,000 participants (42 per cent of whom are women) by March 2016. The extended support will provide a pathway to further build and groom sports talent from grass-roots in schools, districts and states as well as inculcate rugby’s core values – Respect, Discipline and Team Spirit.
Evelyne Collin, Chief Executive and Country Officer-India, Societe Generale says, “We share a common vision to train, develop and groom the potential sports talent from the grassroots in the country, especially at locations where resources are limited. In the 3 years contract with Rugby India, we can help build strong national teams and create a talented pool of sports persons for international events like the Olympics.”
The last few years has seen a lot of development as the game has taken giant strides. It is not only restricted to the metros, but has gone mass including the enthusiasts at the grass-roots.
On the partnership with Societe Generale, Rugby India General Manager Nasser Hussain says, “I am confident that the shared core values will ensure that this partnership thrives and is beneficial to 1,00,000 students by 2018 across 21 states.”
Rahul Bose, actor, philanthropist has been playing for the sport for the last 34 years, he says, “This is the first time, that a corporate is investing in the Get Into Rugby program which will look at harnessing talent from the grass-roots. Sometimes there are demands made, which are not related to the game, but it is done to keep the sport alive.”
Rahul is an avid Rugby player and part of the Indian National Rugby Team. While speaking to The CSR Journal, he says, “CSR cannot grow on a sport but it can surely be a crucial component. I know of a boy who once wiped car shields for five rupees. He now plays rugby and calls me by name. There is immense social change that funds and sharing values can bring about. With the inclusion of Rugby in Olympics, the association with Societe Generale has come at right time to give the sport a much needed boost to take it to the next level in India.”
Societe Generale and Rugby India will jointly oversee the organization and promotion of Rugby in the following senior, junior and women’s categories:
- National-level tournaments (Rugby Sevens, Under-19, 17, 14)
- Get Into Rugby (grassroots-level children)
- Training and education workshops (physical trainers and sports teachers)
- School games – national and state orientation programme
Societe Generale has a legacy of promoting Rugby globally since 1987. The Group first partnered with Rugby World Cup in 1991 and has since then reiterated its support for every key event. These close and lasting links between Societe Generale and Rugby have naturally led to this partnership with Rugby India.
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The CSR Journal Team