And so, we are coming to the end of a very busy 2023 season for rugby.
There has been so much good work from players, coaches, and committees. I would like to thank everyone for the work, time, and effort that you put in for rugby.
The Christmas season is a good time to take stock of last season, think about next season and what each individual would like to achieve. The new season will kick off on January 13th in Sogndal for the first time with NM Touch Rugby 2024 being held. I hope that you all will be able to make it.
2023 was a busy year for rugby and in particular for the Women. Super Week was held in August with various courses run by Rugby Europe and the NRF. There was a lot of learning and development during that weekend with contacts still working together. I would like to thank the RE/NRF team for all the work to make this happen. Wheelchair rugby finally came back with full speed after covid, and it is great to see new clubs and competitions as well as developments back this year gone.
We also held the NM 2023 Snow rugby where we had clear blue skies, lots of snow and great rugby. It was a great tournament and thank you to the team for the organization of this. The tournament was won by men’s team Blindern and women’s team BSI. NM Veka 7s was held in Trondheim with Stavanger taking the winning spot.
Junior players learnt a lot of new skills from the Toulouse Rugby Academy in Oslo, and I hope that this will continue to inspire our young players. Once more Sandnes pulled out all the stops and arranged a great junior tournament.
It seems that for the 2024 season, there is a stronger focus on national teams working with other countries to find matches to play in preparation before tournaments and important games. This is for Men’s XV, Women’s 7’s and XV and Junior national sides.
In 2023 the next step in the W15s Scandinavian plan was achieved and there will be two meets during 2024 between Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. The WXV’s team are currently working on dates for 2024. There will also be local training camps and a lot of specific coaching skills for our female players.
Support for the Women’s rugby will continue via Team Powered as this is the final year of receiving the 3-year grant. I am grateful for the work that has been carried out and I am looking forward to the continuation of the buddy programme.
Work will continue on the 2023 to 2026 Strategy plan in the three different areas of Children and Youth, Club Development, and arrangement for the sport at high level etc. The Women’s 7s had a fabulous opportunity to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Krakow and whilst we didn’t receive the outcome we would have liked; I still think that the experience really leads the way forward. The team is now focussed on its long-term goals and 2028 LA is a possibility.
For the first time, Snow Rugby will be a part of the NM Veka in Lillehammer, the home of the Olympics. What an opportunity!
Finally on behalf of the board and staff, I would like to send you all season’s greetings and wish all a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year for 2024.