It was 5:52 am in the morning and the sun was already out in Kolkata on September 12, 2023. That’s when Akshay, who heads marketing for Rugby India, called saying he was waiting at the main gate of the SAI Center within the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan complex.
It was a special invite from Rahul Bose, President of Rugby India, to watch the Indian team train just ahead of the Asian Games. While I had reached at 6 am sharp, Rahul arrived at about 6:30 am. Just as he was speaking, Hupi Majhi, one of the seniors in the team, performed a fitness drill to perfection.
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🚨 #Trailblazers2Conclave Know Your Panelist: Rahul Bose, Actor and President of the Indian Rugby Football Union.
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“Would you believe it that none in her village knew she played rugby till 2017. This is because her parents were seriously against her playing and in a conservative village where no woman is allowed to wear shorts, playing rugby was a far cry. She decided not to tell anyone and just pursued her passion, ” he said with a wry smile.
A former player, Rahul Bose is presiding over a story of change. Making sure that talent meets opportunity in rugby, allowing the Hupi Majhis of the world to prosper and meet their dreams and make a mark. It isn’t easy for a hugely successful star to stay rooted and do things out of his comfort zone. And yet Bose does it on a daily basis. He lands up at every age group tournament and does things hands-on. He is a driver of change and is clear about what he wants.
At the Trailblazers Conclave 2.0, Bose will be there to share his story. Rather, India’s rugby story and why it is one of hope. About giving wings to the girls to fly and make careers, which were considered unthinkable a few years ago. These girls are as tough as their sport and with Bose around, they will only become tougher going forward.