I am delighted to announce the setting up of Centaurs first franchise club in Saigon, Vietnam. Read more below from the founders, Brendon Urlich and Iain Fish (ex-Centaurs SG parent). – Tim Lambert
On 22nd October 2016, with the support of Centaurs Singapore and Rhino Rugby, the Saigon Centaurs kids rugby club was launched with 17 kids. A week later and 25 students are already enrolled with many more indicating they will sign up in the coming weeks. Parents have been incredibly supportive of the initiative and are garnering the support of the community to make a real success of kids rugby in south Vietnam.
Kids rugby in Saigon has been discussed on and off for some years though. With significant numbers of French, British, Australians, New Zealanders, Japanese and other expats in the city it seemed like an opportunity begging for someone to take it on. For the last year, an informal Saturday morning session has been running at one of the international schools with some success but inconsistent numbers and minimal kit. None the less, the interest in these sessions and the regular conversations with the Mums and Dads gave Brendon Urlich and Iain Fish (Saigon Centaurs founders and coaches) the confidence to set up a kids rugby club in the city, the first of its kind in this huge developing world city. Brendon is an avid rugby fan and NZ qualified referee with two kids who both love the game. Iain is the father of 8 year old Owen who played with Centaurs Singapore for 3 years before moving to Saigon. It was one of Iain’s personal goals on moving to the city to set up a kids rugby club and he is delighted to have made a start.
In time, Saigon Centaurs hopes to attract not only more kids from the typical rugby playing nations but also to attract both Vietnamese families and kids from all the other nationalities represented in this global city. The aim is to build the club up to a point where it can participate in regional events in Malaysia and Singapore at a competitive level with boys and girls teams competing against some of the more established clubs, following the success of rugby clubs in cities like Jakarta, Manila and Bangkok. The club is delighted to have found sponsorship with Al Fresco’s Restaurants, a HK-based restaurant chain, who also sponsor the largest rugby event in the city – the Saigon 10s, which has been running for around 20 years with mens teams from all over South East Asia participating. Saigon Centaurs hopes to participate in next year’s Saigon 10s, with girls and boys teams demonstrating their skills and perhaps even competing against some of the kids teams of the visiting teams.