Entries open for 2023-24, regional and UAE ‘firsts’
Little Blacks Abu Dhabi (SBAD) – the UAE capital’s official youth rugby program licensed by New Zealand Rugby – has announced plans for a second fun-filled and action-packed year starting 4 September.
The 2023-2024 calendar also includes:
Free Introductory Open Houses August 31st and September 1st
Five SBAD Skills Camps throughout the year
Demo and practice with the 2022-23 World Series Champions – All Blacks Sevens Men’s and Black Ferns Women’s Sevens
The Junior Doubles Championship, the club’s first ever event to create a wider UAE Championship, will feature teams from eight affiliated clubs, with 300 children expected to compete in the U6, U7 and U8 age groups each week 10 weekends of small group activities provide opportunities for the younger cohort to get more involved.
The U9-U14 age groups will continue to compete in the UAE Rugby Federation Championships and friendlies from October 2023 to March 2024. In the 2023-24 season, the number of inter-club matches will be increased to more than 30 to provide more young people with the opportunity to play rugby in the UAE.
Weekly girls’ lessons continue for girls aged 14 and under, while mixed lessons run for all ages from U4 to U14, providing equal opportunities for everyone in the club.
SBAD has played a vital role in increasing participation in rugby in the UAE. Last year, SBAD hosted more than 10 rugby festivals, each with 200 rugby participants, while its 3-team women’s corps took part in 10 matches across the UAE.
John Lakins, Director of Sports at Abu Dhabi Cricket and Sports Centre, said: “In line with the vision of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the aim of our rugby program is to promote engagement and fun while providing as much as possible for young children. opportunity to play.”
“After a successful first year with the club producing 21 junior teams, the second year we will focus on growing our rugby community to include children of all genders, experience levels, size or shape.”
“We are excited to expand our sponsor portfolio and welcome the Kip McGrath Education Center to the SBAD family as a Gold Sponsor for the program.”
Claire Hetherington, Director of Kip McGrath Education Centre, added: “As Abu Dhabi’s leading English and Maths tutoring centre, we are delighted to be partnering with Small Blacks Abu Dhabi to ensure bright futures for the children of our community!”
SBAD made history in 2022 as New Zealand Rugby (NZR)’s only officially licensed rugby program outside New Zealand and quickly became the fastest growing rugby club in the UAE.
In its first year, SBAD saw an influx of over 300 boys and girls, with age groups ranging from U4 to U14. They are managed by 23 qualified coaches with at least World Rugby Level 1 coaching certification and the team is led by Aaron Persico, who has represented Italy 56 times and played in the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
Under the leadership of Persico and his team, SBAD promotes three pillars of coaching: Engagement, Creating a Positive Environment, and Respect.
“This inclusive approach has enabled the growth of the SBAD program by placing a greater emphasis on participation, enjoyment and community building,” commented Persico.
To find the best program for your child or for more information, visit: www.smallblacksabudhabi.com