Thank you for stopping by to take a look on my blog. Today, I am going to talk about the love of rugby in our country (Madagascar). As a huge rugby fan, I like to watch rugby matches. Dp you know that rugby is the national sport in Madagascar after football? There are around 40,000 fans at the Mahamasina Stadium each time our national team (XV MAKI) plays, and we have more than 150 clubs now. According to some sources, the rugby game was introduced in Madagascar during the colonial period by foreign armies who played it in the city of Antananarivo. In Madagascar rugby is seen as a “violent pastime” of the poor people in the urban ghettos (Bas quartiers/ faritra iva) of Antananarivo. Consequently, these rugby players are ignored and mistrusted by the society. However, as I said before, rugby is very popular in Madagascar, it is our national sport. Every week end, the grassroots rugby (played by local clubs) take place in the MALACAM stadium. Before this year (2013), Malacam was the only stadium of rugby in Madagascar. It was built in 1940 by the French railway engineers. But, on December 2012 a new rugby stadium named “Kianja Maki” (Maki stadium) was built by the Malagasy authorities in order to boost the rugby game in the country.
Despite poverty and lack of facilities, our national rugby team is among the best in Africa. According to non-official sources, we played our first international match in 1970 against Italy. We lost 9 points 17 at that time. After that, we played against the best nations in Africa such as South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Morocco, and Botswana. I would like to specify that our rugby players are very “small” compared to the international teams. Our bodyweight is around 75Kg. However, we have commitment when we play rugby and the crowd is always there to support our team. It means that for us, rugby is not only a sport or a game; it is our “passion”. As I said earlier, we love and play rugby despite the poverty and the lack of facilities.
To end this small post about “our love of rugby”, I want to say that this year(2013) is very important for the Malagasy rugby union. In fact, we will host Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda for the next stage for the 2015 rugby world cup qualification.