Positive review for SIRUF

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World Rugby and Oceania Rugby pleased

By Taromane Martin

World Rugby and Oceania Rugby Services Manager Mr Bruce Cook says SIRUF is heading in the right direction.

WORLD Rugby and Oceania Rugby Services Manager Mr Bruce Cook says they are pleased with the progress made by the Solomon Islands Rugby Union Federation (SIRUF) in developing the sport in the country.

Mr Cook visited the country last week to carry out a union review on SIRUF’s governance, administrations, finance and commercial and rugby development.

“All in all it was a good review. A few things to work on, which are normal for any growing union, but Oceania Rugby and World Rugby very much, support the efforts of the SIRUF and their executives who are doing a tremendous job as well,” Mr Cook told local media last Friday at a press conference.

“The review is a normal review we carry out with any union in the Pacific and therefore across the world about every once in two to three years as part and parcel of our ability and ways of means in helping unions get better and to see where their pitch points are, where they need some support and we can put some resources in that.

“So there are four major areas where we have been looking at during the week, governance, administrations, finance and commercial, and rugby development.

“In the area of governance it’s running very well indeed. There was a new constitution put in place back in 2010-2011 which has been followed.

“We’ll be doing an update of that constitution just to cut off a few rough edges within the next couple of months,” he said.

As far as the SIRUF’s administration side is concern the Oceania and World Rugby Rugby Services Manager said they got good administration which is led by Gerald Oiaka and has a tremendous support from the Development Officer Mocelutu Aliverete.

“So that’s been running very well and the planning that goes into that has been going very well.

“But perhaps we need more human resources the organisation because the organisation is growing very quickly and sometimes you tend to leave things behind and there’s a few gap might appears.

“But that is normal to any organisation that has a growth spurt so we’ll be looking at in conjunction with the Solomon Islands perhaps getting additional human resources to assist with the increase in workload especially in the get into rugby, the coaching and match officiating areas,” he said.

“In the finance and commercial area the union has made great strides in their commercial efforts and partnership.

“As far as the commercial things go, there’s additional funding coming in and there’s quite a bit of Value in Kind (VIK) as well which also helps the union get through the amount of work they’ve got to do with their national teams and development.

“World Rugby cannot fund everything to any union worldwide but we are certainly looking at the great work Solomon Islands rugby is doing in the area of finance and commercial.

“We will be having a financial update with the union sometimes in the next couple of months when we do the constitution review just to make the union is keeping up with all the things that are tied up.

In the rugby development area there are still some issues faced in the recruitment retention area which is a common problem with any union in the world he said.

“The challenge faced by almost all the unions is getting a good number of match officials and a good number of coaches.

“The task for Solomon Islands rugby is to come up with an idea on how to get more of those match officials and coaches in the system.

“It’s not an easy matter and is a matter which is endemic worldwide, not having enough officials and referees.

“But I think the some of the work done in the judicial area in the Solomon Islands a little while ago has seen one thing occur one thing may indeed be a tipping point for people wanting to referee.

“And that is SIRUF will now not tolerate match referee or official abuse in any way. Whether it is verbal abuse or physical abuse it is not on.

“There have been some hefty sanctions handed down through the World Rugby regulations on that. So you would hope that would attract more young people to come along and referee in what is a beautiful game,” Cook adds.

“Competitions are gaining ground all the time. GIR festivals all around country there is also women’s competition and high schools competitions being run and SIRUF is doing a great job in promoting those competitions and we see a growth.

“Training and education still runs along well and this organisation does an appropriate amount of training and education across coaching, match officiating, training educators, the player well fare, medical areas and strength and conditioning.

“The women’s game is also gaining some attraction here which is tremendous and as usual the union is very compliant and very timely with their applications for the World Rugby Development investment program where they get some money from us to do their work.

“All in all a good review, a few things to work on which is normal for a growing union and Oceania Rugby and World Rugby very much support the efforts of the SIRUF and their executives who are doing a tremendous job as well,” he said.

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