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Yayasan Sime Darby and Malaysia Rugby Collaboration on the National Rugby Development Programme Launch 
KUALA LUMPUR, 1 February 2020 - In conjunction with the National Rugby Development Programme (NRDP) Rugby Carnival 2020 held at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Serdang, Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) and Malaysia Rugby officially launched their collaboration on 1st February 2020.

The collaboration began in August 2019, with YSD sponsoring the NRDP Men U19, Men U20 and Women U20 elite teams. The support covers talent scouting, a series of Elite Training Camps, participation in exposure tournaments and Asia Rugby tournaments. This collaboration will continue until December 2020.

The launch was officiated by YSD Chairman Y.A.M Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja'afar, in the presence of Sime Darby Berhad CEO and YSD Governing Council Member Dato' Jeffri Salim Davidson, YSD CEO Dr. Hajah Yatela Zainal Abidin, Malaysia Rugby (MR) President Dato Shahrul Zaman Yahya, and NRDP Director Haji Jamaluddin Salim.

With YSD’s support and sponsorship, NRDP is optimistic in achieving its goals and ensuring the continuity of the NRDP elite programmes which involve players aged 15 to 20 years old. Jamaluddin said he hopes that this collaboration will encourage and inspire other private companies to support rugby development in Malaysia in the future.

“NRDP is extremely happy that a leading Malaysian charity foundation is on board with us to develop future Malaysian rugby players. This partnership creates a well-rounded rugby ecosystem that involves the government through the Youth and Sports Ministry, the National Sports Council and MR as well as YSD joining hands to promote and develop Malaysian rugby.

Tunku Imran in his speech said supporting the NRDP is in line with YSD’s Sports pillar strategy of nurturing sports talents and elevating their status to world-class athletes.

“In collaboration with Malaysia Rugby, Yayasan Sime Darby’s support of RM1.4 million for a period of 1.5 years for the NRDP will fill the critical gap in the development of rugby in Malaysia, where the available funding was minimal or non-existent. With our support, it is aimed for Malaysia Rugby to produce a pool of 30 players each for the U19 and U20 Men elite teams, and 21 players for the U20 Women elite team,” he said.

“Yayasan Sime Darby wishes to increase our efforts in encouraging the development of female talent in Malaysian sports, and we are proud to be able to support the U20 Women’s elite team. This includes funding the important scouting activities to identify the most talented women players to be trained and developed in the NRDP.

“We aim for these young women to be ready to play for the nation in Asia Rugby tournaments before the end of 2020,” he added.

As of end of 2019, the programme had recruited 135 players, exceeding the target of 81 players. The U19 Men’s team was promoted to Division 1 for year 2020 after beating a United Arab Emirates team at the Asia Rugby U19 Division 2 tournament while the U20 Men’s team improved their Asian ranking from the 8th place in 2018 to 5th place last year.

At the Karma Bali 10’s last year, the U20 Women’s team was ranked 2nd in the cup category but were crowned champions in the plate category at the Bangkok 7’s after beating a team from Kazakhstan. All these achievements in exposure tournaments were recorded after the players went through a couple of elite training camps.

At the launching event, 3 NRDP elite rugby players were awarded NRDP - Salbros Rugby Scholarships to encourage them to further their studies while excelling in the sport. The scholarship covers full tuition and monthly stipend for 3 years. Two scholarships were awarded to two (2) U20 Women players to study at Politeknik Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin and one (1) U20 Men player who will be studying at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI).

(from centre, left to right) Malaysia Rugby Honorary Treasurer Datuk Ahmad Zaki Zahid, YSD CEO Dr. Hjh. Yatela Zainal Abidin, Malaysia Rugby President Dato Shahrul Zaman Yahya, YSD Chairman Y.A.M Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja'afar and YSD Governing Council Member Dato' Jeffri Salim Davidson with NRDP Men U19, Men U20 and Women U20 elite teams in a group photo.
YSD Chairman Y.A.M Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja'afar at the plaque signing ceremony.
(second row, from left) YSD CEO Dr. Hjh. Yatela Zainal Abidin, YSD Governing Council Member Dato' Jeffri Salim Davidson, YSD Chairman Y.A.M Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja'afar and Malaysia Rugby President Dato Shahrul Zaman Yahya with NRDP Women U20 elite team.
(middle row, from left) YSD CEO Dr. Hjh. Yatela Zainal Abidin, YSD Governing Council Member Dato' Jeffri Salim Davidson and YSD Chairman Y.A.M Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja'afar with the NRDP Men U19 elite team.
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Last Updated:
04 Feb 2020
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