They have toiled, worked hard and after three years, it has all paid off. Ethopian rugby league has officially become the sixth African nation to be awarded RLEF Observer status.
Based at the Nicholas Robinson School in Mekelle, more than 1300 children across the region from the ages of 7 to 17 have been learning the rules and skills involved with rugby league.
The brainchild behind it all is Ethopian teacher, Abebuker Ahmed Tadesse, the President of Ethopia’s recently founded rugby league organisation.
â€œWe are introducing rugby league football in Ethiopia â€“ through the Tigray Region – at youth level, so as to create a firm foundation for future growth,â€ said Abubeker.
â€œWe are beginning in schools and universities in the north of Ethiopia, and we will spread our sport to the rest of the country.â€
In order to be recognised as an official sport by the Federal Ministry, three other regions in the country must adopt the sport and in doing so, providing the sport with sufficient resources.
Additionally, more referees and coaches will be trained and developed in rugby league, with RLEF MEA Director Remond Safi to conduct those when he visits Africa.
He will teach 20 coaches and meet with Government officials.