At the 2021 Emirates Dubai 7s Long Lunch we announced the new program ‘Dubai 7s For Good’. A CSR program in partnership with Impact Adventures which will see the Emirates Dubai 7s team use the power of sport to make a change in countries around the world.
Last week the Emirates Dubai 7s team and two rugby coaches from Dubai spent 7 days in Mbale – a region in the Eastern part of Uganda.
The program focuses on North Road Primary, Mbale, a school with over 3200 students. The focus for year 1 was based on three deliverables – Rugby development, infrastructure and community development.
The team with local contractors assisted with the renovation works of two school blocks (5 blocks in total at the school). Each block is divided up into classrooms where over 100 students will sit to learn.
Over 90 teachers from 32 schools attended the rugby development sessions which were run by Mike Lowery and Matthew Pewtner from Dubai. “We started from the ground up, teaching the basics to over 90 staff in attendance over the week. Throughout this, we embedded the core fundamentals of rugby and explained why rugby is so good for communities and individuals.” Mike Lowery stated. Matthew Pewtner also commented, "The experience in Uganda was one which will never be forgotten, from delivering rugby to highly receptive local teams, coaches and teachers, to working construction on buildings."
The coaching during the week assisted the schools who took part in a Rugby 7s tournament on the final day. Over 300 students took part in the U13 and U16 divisions for boys and girls.
A large supply of rugby balls, bibs, cones and Emirates Dubai 7s kit was donated to the school and community of Mbale. “Our goal is to build a legacy in a meaningful way over a long period. We want to ensure the contributions we receive from the Long Lunch are purpose-driven and have a long-lasting effect. Using sport as a vehicle, our objective is to enrich and inspire people.” - Matt Burn, Emirates Dubai 7s.
The program is focused on the long term and when we return in 2023 we will aim to renovate 2 more schools blocks as well as provide a fresh water supply via a borehole for North Road Primary and of course continue our development of Rugby in the region assisted by a local rugby team or school class from Dubai.
The program also makes up part of the Emirates Dubai 7s Legacy program in accordance with World Rugby KPIs for the festival. Alongside our Youth Sports Festival and Performance Program, the Emirates Dubai 7s is leading the way globally in tournaments making an impact in the community away from the bright lights of pitch one.
The 2022 Emirates Dubai 7s Long Lunch will take place on 28th October at the JWMM Dubai Ballroom from 12pm for more information please contact Matt Burn.