As an ardent rugby supporter, I am concerned and disappointed with the ad hoc approach that VRU is undertaking to fulfill its role and function.
The recent Championship cup fixtures for instance is a good example of poor planning and lack of communication from VRU to the respective clubs. Some clubs were only informed a few days prior through social sites and online news pages on Facebook.
The Yumi 40th Independence Cup was an excellent initiative but ruined by poor planning and officiating.
The GIR programme is an excellent initiative and I must acknowledge the effort made by VRU in exposing rugby at the grassroots level and this could be a good foundation for greater things to come in terms of the development of rugby in Vanuatu. While the current Covid pandemic may have disrupted VRU plans for this year, I am hoping next year will be better. VRU needs to be proactive in its approach.
Funding may be an issue that impedes progress but it is not an issue in Vanuatu in my opinion. Having been involved in organizing a few rugby tournaments in Port Vila for the past few years a lot of business houses are willing to support rugby financially but, in my view, VRU needs to set its governance mechanisms in order.
While we cannot dwell on the past, moving forward, I recommend the following:
• AGM or a Forum to be organized for all club president or representatives and VRU officials to deliberate on the way forward for rugby in Vanuatu.
• A review of the current VRU body, structure, systems and administrators – the current administrators have done well in bringing rugby to where it is today however if we want to progress, we need changes to see changes.
• VRU plans for rugby tournament dates, championships cups fixtures and other VRU sanctioned tournaments for 2021 [2021 Rugby Calendar] be released early next year and communicated to respective clubs.
On a personal level, Vanuatu is now a home away from home for some of us and we would love to see the sport grow as there is huge potential here. We have a lot of talented players here but they need a proper system to thrive and make it big.