Pakistan Rugby League Kicks off!

By Various

News from about the New Pakistan Rugby League came out this week. They will get their first game against a BARLA select in Dubai later this month.


From Steve Manning

Pakistan Rugby League will play their first ever game against a British Amateur Rugby League select team in Dubai at the World Famous Sport City stadium, 29th November.

Rugby League has established a firm foundation in Pakistan after almost of decade of hard work in collaboration with a number of partners including the British Asian Rugby Association (BARA), Leeds Rugby Foundation (LRF), British Amateur Rugby League Association (BARLA), Rugby Football League (RFL) and Leeds Metropolitan University.

Founded in 1992, The Islamabad rugby club, which host the only purpose built rugby pitch in Pakistan, have been organising rugby league coaching sessions and competitions for local schools, men & women for the past six years in partnership with Ikram Butt, head of BARA.

Kashif Khwaja, one of the founding members of the Islamabad rugby club, took up the invitation by Ikram, to continue his studies in the UK and while doing so, further develop his knowledge & skills in rugby league. Kashif grasped the opportunity and not only gained his Masters in Business Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University but also gained valuable rugby league experience. Kashif was awarded a level 1 rugby league certificate and made his debut for BARA at rugby league.

Kashif, who will captain the pioneering Pakistan Rugby League team, commented “We here in Pakistan are very grateful to Ikram for laying the foundations of rugby league development in Pakistan and is one of our founding members.

“We are also indebted to a number of key individuals including Kevin Rudd, former European Rugby League Federation Executive who came out to Pakistan and helped us immensely. Spen Alison, Chairman, of the British Amateur Rugby League Association also visited Pakistan and on our behalf met with senior government officials. And a special mention to Emma Rosewarne, Operation Director at the Rugby Football League, who I had the pleasure of meeting during my visit to the UK has and continues to provide valuable guidance and inspiration to us throughout the years.”

Ikram, stated, “We are delighted that Mick Turner, BARLA International Executive Manager, has accepted our invitation to take part in this historic occasion.

“Mick shares our same vision of developing our great game throughout South Asia and has gone out of his way to make this event happen. At this moment in time the political situation in Pakistan doesn’t allow us to host the game over there, however, playing such a game in Dubai at the Sport City stadium is a wonderful opportunity to expand and promote the game of rugby league to a wider audience.

“We are already in discussion with BARLA about hosting them in Pakistan next year. Having already witnessed rugby league tournaments and festivals at the Islamabad club, I have no doubts that they will be able to provide and wonderful and unique experience for any rugby playing nation visiting the country.”

Mick Turner, added, “It’s a great opportunity for our lads and chance of an International fixture in a fantastic venue and another first for BARLA. We are looking forward to the challenge. At the end of the day the big winner will be Rugby League.”

Hasan Pooya, Chairman of the Pakistan Rugby League, commented “The event in Dubai is the culmination of a lot of hard work behind the scenes by various partners over the years. Our aim is to establish rugby league in Pakistan for the long term and we are delighted that BARLA have provided us a platform to do so.”

Ikram, the founder of BARA, manages Connecting Communities, Leeds Rugby Foundation’s biggest project to date, and was recently awarded a Doctorate in Sport Science by Leeds Metropolitan University for his pioneering sport development initiatives within the UK and abroad.

Pakistan Rugby League Supports Royal Campaign

From Phil Caplan

The first ever Pakistan Rugby League kit, specially designed by Bradford-based sport wear manufacturers, Samsan Sports, was launched this afternoon at the Headingley Carnegie stadium.

A predominately white kit with shades of green around the sides, it bears across the front the brand logo ‘The Pakistan Recovery Fund,’ whose patron is HRH Prince of Wales. The fund was set up in response to the ongoing humanitarian effort still required in Pakistan in wake of the 2010 floods.

The Prince of Wales’s Pakistan Recovery Fund is convened by The British Asian Trust and managed on behalf of the Prince of Wales by Knighton White, providers of philanthropic campaigning around the world. Both of their logos are on the right shoulder of the jerseys.

Gavin-Peake Jones, Managing Partner at Knighton White, commented, “We are delighted that the Pakistan Rugby League team is supporting the fund by displaying the logo on their team jerseys.  Ikram Butt and the British Asian Rugby Association have already been pivotal in raising vital funds for the campaign. The devastation caused by the floods in Pakistan is the worst in Pakistan’s history.”

He continued, “In a country already gripped with socio-economic problems, the plight of the Pakistani people has worsened as the devastation has destroyed 1.7 million homes and affected nearly 20 million people. Basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter are in short supply. In some areas, almost a quarter of children under five are malnourished. Chronic poverty, disease, and displacement threaten the region.”

“With millions of acres of land ravaged, livestock dead and infrastructure ruined, there is a pressing humanitarian need to support the long-term recovery of the country and to respond to the needs of individuals, families and communities. The situation is grave and the need for action is urgent. The Pakistan floods are a massive humanitarian issue and an urgent one.”

The Leeds Rugby Foundation and Leeds Metropolitan University have played a significant role in supporting the fund raising efforts for the Pakistan Recovery Fund and their logos are attached to the left shoulder of the kit.

Paul Rowson, Chairman of the LRF added, “We are really pleased to be able to support the Pakistan Recovery Fund and the Pakistan Rugby League team. The formation of the side will provide much needed positive role models for children and young people to aspire to in Pakistan and within our local communities in Leeds and its surrounding areas.”

Pakistan will take on a British Amateur Rugby League select team (BARLA) in Dubai at the World Famous Sport City stadium on the 29th November, 4.30pm Kick Off.

Leeds Rugby Foundation’s Connecting Communities Manager Ikram Butt – one of the founding members of the Pakistan Rugby League team – said, “This would not have been possible without the tremendous support of a number of key partners. The event in Dubai provides us with a platform to further develop rugby league and at the same time remind people of the continued necessity to assist in the ongoing recovery efforts in Pakistan.”

The founder of BARA (British Asian Rugby Association), Ikram was recently awarded a Doctorate in Sport Science by Leeds Metropolitan University for his pioneering sport development initiatives within the UK and abroad.

Chairman of the British Amateur Rugby League Association, Spen Allison added, “We are delighted to be associated to such a worthy cause.”


Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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10 Responses to “Pakistan Rugby League Kicks off!”

  1. The Prodigal Don says:

    Good stuff.

    On another note, in the Four Nations match programs it said something about exciting developments in Africa being announced soon. Have you heard anything regarding this?

    • druzik says:

      I have not no … I know that recently SA had a complete revamp of the sport and its administration. Not sure how this effects the rest of the competitions as well.

      If there is something then we should hear something about it soon enough.

  2. Kingsland7 says:

    The Republic of Ghana is set to be the focus of a combined effort between the RLEF and UK Sports International.

    The idea is to link both the southern and northern rugby league projects up, with Ghana providing a foothold in the middle.

  3. Corey says:

    Ghana is looking good, i currently live in Uganda and have to play Union as there is no RL. Totally prefer RL by the way, but RL is on TV, but they have been fed this garbage that its a less skilled game for those who cant make it in Union!!! So if Ghana goes ahead I would love to hear how it goes and see if I can pop over there and help out in anyway.

  4. Chris Sanders says:

    Where are ya Daniel and did you see what’s been happenng in Russia recently??

  5. Chris Sanders says:

    And of course Pakistan is the work of Ikram Butt who I belived was the first Muslim to play for GB!He should be on the RLIF and we need more people like him in our Game who could make a bit of a difference!
    Time for a change to get out of the current cycle we are now in as the International Game has gone stale!

    • druzik says:

      Yeahs… we all know Ikram has done great work with Asian Rugby League in general. Maybe one day he will get into the RLIF. Has he put in an application to them? If not then you take it up with him Chris.

      You are going round like a broken record at the moment. Please say and do something constructive.

  6. Chris Sanders says:

    Time for a change and what are you doing about it and what do the RLIF do for you in reguards to your site Daniel,after all you are promoting the International Game in a sensible manner,unlike other forums that are run by jeuvniles!
    And look at the RLIF Internet site as well as their FB.They are a bloody disgrace to our game!

    • druzik says:

      The RLIF don not do anything for me aside from help from time to time, discuss things with me and occasionally Tas and Danny will ask for my opinion on something… I do not expect anything from the RLIF nor should they unless I sign some sort of exclusive contract where I will work with them. I have not, I have not asked for any such thing and do not intend to since that would compromise any neutrality I have in matters.

      The day I decide to join an organisation is the day this site gets taken down… and believe me that time is slowly coming.

      Not sure what beef you have with other websites, how are they run by juveniles?

      Chris a question, aside from your critisism, how have you seriously offered to help the RLIF in any positive manner. Have you offered to write articles, to keep the site updated etc…

  7. Chris Sanders says:

    I am not a Rugby League writer(I can’t write) and I speak to Tas regular and I had no problem when Johnny Quayle was there,as he spoke to everyone because he was a real grassroots person.
    This is a mature sight unlike others and you should sell it when the time comes, as it’s far too good to close down and you starting to pick up good contacts from around the World as well,which may become valuable for the gradual growth and development of our game.
    And you have given me more than a fair go too!

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