Since its inauguration in 2002 the Fiji Primary School Rugby Union has grew in intensity and popularity moving past its 10 years of existence and steadily progressing into the future.Kaji rugby has the largest representative of players under the Fiji Rugby Union with 22,000 children participating in the Vodafone Kaji competition in 2019.
The annual Kaji Rugby Festival is the climax of Fiji Primary Schools Rugby Union calendar whereby representative teams from the provincial regions converge to play in a week long round robin tournament.
The Fiji Primary Schools Rugby Union has also proactively moved the games to different venues over the years so that patrons can feel the festive atmosphere that is experienced during each annual tournament.
Vodafone Kaji Rugby has achieved its mission in developing and exposing the raw talents of our children where some of them are now playing professional rugby around the world today.
In 2018 Vodafone Fiji took the reigns as naming rights partner for Kaji Rugby and as the exclusive mobile telecommunications partner for Fiji Rugby, their consistent support of every Fijian throughout the grassroots of the game, has been invaluable.
2019 the Vodafone Kaji competition had grown to new heights with children all across Fiji enjoying their Kaji rugby.
Vodafone Fiji Kaji Rugby Vice President Mr. Sakiusa Turagabeci said that the divisional meets are a great event where all districts come together and play within their divisions.”
“There’s a total of 39 districts all together from Eastern, Western, Central and Northern with 22,000 registered players.”
In Kaji Rugby the Under 9 and 10 age groups in the divisional playoffs play tag rugby while the Under 11-12 will be play 10s rugby and Under 13-14 step up to full 15s rugby.
Teams that qualify from the divisional play offs in Under 12, 13 & 14 will go in to the Vodafone Fiji National Kaji Festival held on the first week of school holidays from Tuesday 13th August to Friday August 16th 2019.
In a competition first for Kaji Rugby, girls and new to rugby children will play in a tag carnival coinciding with the Divisional competitions.
“We’re pleased to host a tag rugby Under 12 and Under 14 competition for girls and new to rugby participants from the Indo-fijian community across all four game venues” said Mr Turagabeci.
Mr. Turagabeci praised Fiji Rugby Union and the major sponsors Vodafone for the support given towards Vodafone Fiji Kaji Rugby Competition for making the competition possible.
“I want to thank Vodafone for always being there when we need it the most, giving us sponsorship which allowed us to facilitate all 22,000 students that are playing in the 2019 Vodafone Kaji Competition.” He added.
New Development model for 2020 Vodafone Kaji Rugby
Fiji Rugby Union aim to implement a new development model for the Vodafone Kaji Rugby later this year.
Grassroot rugby is so crucial as it holds the future of the game, it’s the base of rugby and laying its foundation is critical as setting the right tone and direction for the future of rugby.
Early development helps shape young ruggers and instil all elements that build their character to become the best on the field.
This factor also gives rise to the transition of local competition to another level as these upcoming players are well developed which changes the tone of domestic games.
In partnership with Fiji Primary School Rugby Union, Fiji Rugby Union Development Unit has set some plans for Kaji Rugby in terms of implementing some new rules to suit the lower grades and help improve their game at a young age.
Fiji Rugby Development Manager Koli Sewabu explained that the law modification is based on how many number of players is best suitable for the under 7-11 for both girls and boys category.
“We’re trialing out what numbers we will implement and what sort of skill sets we will be focusing on and Ideally what we’re trying to do is to find out what number is ideal for these grade.”
Sewabu explained that they’re are looking to add Under 7 and 8 to the competition which will align with under 9-11 in terms of its laws.
“Previously the Kaji Rugby Competition is from under 9 to under 14 and this year we’re taking away the under 9, 10 and 11 from contact rugby, and the under 12-14 will still be doing contact rugby and as for under 7-11 they’ll be doing tag rugby.”
The main reason for the changes is the safety of the players and also focusing on the basic skills of the game while having fun.
“After this we will review, look at what law modification we could add on to this, trial it again until we’re absolutely sure which new rules we’re going to implement to Kaji Rugby.”
Vodafone Kaji Rugby is proudly supported by major partner Vodafone Fiji, the official mobile telecommunications provider for Fiji Rugby https://www.vodafone.com.fj/