KIUG 2023: Looking for fresh talent, rugby coach Kiano Fourie feels Khelo India the right platform for players to excel

February 24, 2024
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South African rugby coach Kiano Fourie has been watching every game at the Khelo India University Games (KIUG) Ashtalakshmi 2023

Guwahati, Feb 24 (IANS) South African rugby coach Kiano Fourie has been watching every game at the Khelo India University Games (KIUG) Ashtalakshmi 2023, taking down notes about the strengths and weaknesses of the players.

Fourie, who first came to India in 2022 as mentor to Bihar’s Rugby team and is now part of the coaching staff at the Rugby India’s High-Performance centre in Bhubaneshwar, is looking for talent from these Games which could be nurtured and groomed in the next few years.

“Indian talent in rugby is formidable but has yet to reach its full potential. Our aim is to identify promising players and approach universities demonstrating exceptional performance.

“By increasing awareness and participation in rugby, especially among children, confidence will grow, and enjoyment of the sport will deepen within the youth. Additionally, leveraging platforms like Khelo India will provide crucial exposure to young athletes, ensuring that the talent pool is nurtured and empowered,” said the South African.

Fourie points out that India boasts of diverse genetic composition across states and regions and the diversity provides for a rich talent pool that needs to be identified and nurtured.

“Our current focus revolves around assessing the talent pool at the university level, especially from Khelo India. We’re examining whether playing styles, skill levels, and overall alignment match our objectives. We are also evaluating the effectiveness of our efforts in reaching this demographic,” he added.

The South African said his focus was now to create strategies to empower university-level players to excel and contribute to the broader rugby community, fostering a culture of growth and success.

–IANS/cs/

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