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Rugby helping local disadvantaged children tackle life skills

Rugby helping local disadvantaged children tackle life skills

RUGBY: There is so much more to Rugby than crunching tackles, silky skills and elusive footwork. More than dirty boots, smelly kit, bumps and bruises. It is a game for everyone regardless of size, shape, age or gender. An inclusive sport that welcomes players of all skill levels and backgrounds.

By The Phuket News

Monday 10 May 2021, 02:30PM

Youngsters enjoy the recent two-day camp as part of the Youth Rugby Development Program developed by the Asia Center Foundation and the Phuket Vagabonds RFC. Photo: Phuket Vagabonds RFC

Youngsters enjoy the recent two-day camp as part of the Youth Rugby Development Program developed by the Asia Center Foundation and the Phuket Vagabonds RFC. Photo: Phuket Vagabonds RFC

Rugby is a sport which fosters leadership and develops team work. It is a sport that values respect for your opponent and support for your team mates. After all, it is “the game they play in heaven”.

Embracing the lessons rugby offers, the Asia Center Foundation in collaboration with the Phuket

Vagabonds RFC have launched a Youth Rugby Development Program for students of the foundation by way of a series of coaching camps and clinics.

On April 22 and 23, during a two-day camp, a dedicated team of players from the Vagabonds and

staff from the Asia Center Foundation introduced the students to the fundamentals of rugby with passing and agility skills and of course the tackle pads, a distinct favourite amongst the students.

But as with the game of rugby itself, the camp was more than just basic skills and hard hits. For the

coaches it was humbling experience, witnessing the hardships that many of the children face daily and yet uplifted by the enthusiasm and positivity in which they participated in the clinic.

For current Vagabonds player, Suranan ‘Mos’ Jumnongrak, having come through the Foundation

program as a youth, it was with great pride that he delivered his story of success to the students

having played professional rugby with the Thai Navy and his many achievements along the way. Khun Mos spoke highly of his time with the Vagabonds and the friendships and opportunities that rugby has presented him.

Room for everyone

“Whilst funding for such foundations was critical, taking the time to support in any capacity and to

simply show care can have immensely positive repercussions on the children’s lives moving forward,” commented Santiago Lopez, who is responsible for overseeing the program on behalf

of the Vagabonds.


Following the certificate ceremony, Director of the Asia Center Foundation, Roelien Muller was

delighted with the participation and natural athletic talent on display from her students, as well as

the opportunities the partnership can bring.

“Thankfully rugby always has room for everyone,” Ms Muller said.

“Both the Asia Center Foundation and the Phuket Vagabonds believe sport can change lives and

we look forward to doing just that through our program for disadvantaged children,” she added.

The Phuket Vagabonds and the Asia Center Foundation would also like to extend a special thank you to Greg Johnston and the Delish Café in Rawai ( for their generous sponsorship to support the pitch fees for the training venue and for their continued support of the program.

The Phuket Vagabonds look forward to hosting more clinics in the coming weeks and continuing

their ongoing support of the Asia Center Foundation.

If you would like to support this initiative by assisting with pitch fees, meals for the students or equipment please contact the Vagabonds Academy via their Facebook page.

The Asia Center Foundation provide education opportunities to disadvantaged and at-risk Thai and Burmese migrant children so they will be empowered to change their futures. The Foundation man-

ages different projects addressing the needs of children focusing on education, child protection, life

skills development, healthcare and community outreach.

If you would like to learn more about the Asia Center Foundation please visit their website at

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