Spending a long time with an association in rugby league is rare to see and they all have to unfortunately end, with founder of rugby league in Russia, Edgard Taturyan, stepping down from the presidency of the Russian Association of Rugby League Clubs (ARLK)
For Taturyan, who has a connection with the sport going all the way back until 1989, he is thankful for his time and pleased that under his tenure, Russian rugby league has grown exponentially.
â€œEven under such [difficult] circumstances we were able to become a Full Member of the RLEF and RLIF, lead Russia to the 2012-13 European Shield title and re-introduce the Russian championship [including the north and south regions] last year,â€ said Taturyan.
â€œIt was a pleasure working with the RLEF these past few yearsâ€¦now the time has come to depart and give the rest of the gang the chance to keep the rugby league ball rolling in Russia. Team work is essential: it gives the enemy someone else to shoot at!â€
Dabbling in rugby union in the past as a former coach of the USSR and the founder of the USSR League Rugby-13 Federation, Taturyan was a key figure in the eventual successful ARLK founding and worked tirelessly to get Russia to where they currently are.
Even those at the RLEF appreciate his work, knowing full well just how hard it was to not only get Russian rugby league up and running in the region, but how difficult it was to maintain their involvement over the years.
â€œEdgard has always been a loyal rugby league man,â€ said RLEF General Manager Danny Kazandjian.
â€œIt is difficult to overstate the rescue mission he managed when the sport was imploding a few years ago. With the loss of government accreditation came the loss of sponsors and without Edgardâ€™s strong leadership, love for and loyalty to rugby league it is questionable whether there would still be a sport in the country.
â€œNow he leaves a young group of leaders equally committed in his vein, and keen to work on the new phase of re-establishing rugby league as a strong sport in Russia.â€