PETALING JAYA: The Combined Old Boys Rugby Association (Cobra) have not just established themselves as the kingpins of rugby in the country but they are also actively contributing towards the development of the sport at the grassroots level.
The launched a school development programme this year with the aim to get teachers involved in the sport and the club president, Datuk Krishnan Tan, said that it was receiving good responses.
The target is to have 360 teachers as qualified Rugby Level 1 coaches at the end of the year to train Under-15 players in schools.
“We have to develop the infrastructure first before we are to think of having a strong team at the national level,” said Krishnan.
“Our schools development programme is to concentrate on teachers. Get them to pick up the basics so that they can teach the youngsters to pick up rugby.”
The second of four sessions of the Cobra schools programme will be held in Kuala Terengganu this weekend.
Three rugby coaches from England's Penguins club will conduct coaching clinics. The programme was launched with the first session held here in February.
“We also want to develop more referees by organising seminars. They can get themselves to learn new rules and be assessed at the same time,” said Krishnan.
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports have been very cooperative by sending teachers to these courses.”
The club's efforts to assist in the development of the game should be lauded, considering that they have a budget of just RM25,000 annually.
“We are able to organise competitions – thanks to the help from sponsors,” said Krishnan after signing an agreement with Adidas at the club's premises yesterday.
“It has been a long time since Malaysia put on a creditable performance even at regional level and it is imperative all rugby fans help address this sad state of affairs.”
The apparel and shoes manufacturer is extending sponsorship in kind to Cobra for this year and they will also be one of the sponsors for the 36th edition of the Cobra 10s, scheduled for Sept 9-11 at the MPPJ Stadium in Kelana Jaya.
Yesterday's event was also to celebrate Cobra achieving a clean sweep of all three trophies at stake.
Cobra took the Selangor Rugby Union (SRU) League and Cup titles. They were also recently declared as the champions of the Malaysian Rugby League (MRU) with a 100% record of seven wins.