New Delhi: Japanese rugby coaches are going to train rugby players of Odisha schools.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has dispatched 8 more volunteers to India on Monday as rugby coaches in Odisha to build capacities and improve sport competencies in the country.

The first batch of the program includes Shun Akatsu, Hibiki Saito, KenjiroSakaki, Katsuya Suzuki, Shintaro Tsujino, Riki Fukushima, Chihiro Yoshita and KakuTachimoto. These new JOCVs to India will be in addition to the existing rugby JOCV in Odisha, Tatsuya Kato, who has been dispatched through the same program since December 2019 for 2 years. Together forming a new team, the rugby coaches are motivated to train more students of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) University, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) and neighboring schools in Bhubneshwar and improve their sport’s capabilities in India, thereby developing competitive, safe – playing environment in the country.

The Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) aim to promote international cooperation through the exchange of knowledge, by working as a bridge between India and Japan. With these new volunteers, the JICA Volunteers in India now count to the total of 28, in as many as 10 states which are Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh.

The 8 new JOCVs are sent through the university partnership program between JICA Kansai Center and Doshisha University. The program aims at the promotion of rugby as well as the sound development of youth through rugby in India. Simultaneously, the program is expected to foster the international perspectives among the Doshsiha students and people to people exchange between the students of two nations.

Until 2024, Doshisha University will send their students to India as rugby coaches once a year for 1 month.

Speaking on the occasion, Katsuo Matsumoto, chief representative, JICA India said, “We understandthe importance of deploying JOCVs in India and aim to enhance development of the country through this initiative. The JOCV program promotes mutual development and international goodwill by strengthening ties between the two nations. We believe this cooperation with the Indian Rugby Football Union, will act as a stepping stone to accelerate growth of sports in India. Besides rugby, JOCVs are catalyzing development in India by facilitating income generation activities for farmers, enhancing swimming skills for studentsand building Japaneselanguage proficiency so that both countries could work together closely. Our goal is to contribute as much knowledge as we can to India, in each and every sphere of growth and development, thereby leveraging cross-country ties through mutual learning.”