Ivanishvili awarded top International Rugby Board supporter award

International Rugby Board awarded Ivanishvili the IRB Development Award 2014 in November 18. Photo by Temo Bardzimashvili.
Agenda.ge, 18 Nov 2014 - 14:01, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian tycoon, philanthropist and former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili has been honoured for his immense financial contribution to Georgian rugby and received a top award from the International Rugby Board (IRB).

The IRB – the world governing and law-making body for the game of rugby union – awarded Ivanishvili the IRB Development Award 2014 on Monday, November 17.

The award was presented to Ivanishvili for his outstanding contribution to the development of rugby in Georgia and enabling it to become a formidable force in the international game.

Ivanishvili founded the Cartu Charity Foundation, which since 2008 has donated more than 100 million GEL to several rugby projects in Georgia, including building two rugby stadiums, state-of-the-art training facilities in cities and schools all over the country, partial funding of training and tournament costs for Georgia’s national teams and support of various development programmes.

The IRB official website posted a one minute video announcing Ivanishvili as the 2014 recipient of the 2014 Development Award, which stated the Cartu Charity Foundation had funded the construction of 23 rugby training and performance facilities in Georgia, including the Shevardeni and Avchala stadiums in Tbilisi.

"Rugby is now the leading sport in Georgia thanks to the Cartu Foundation,” the video claimed.

The IRB Awards were launched in 2001 and since then, the awards evening has become a highlight of the international rugby calendar. It is an occasion at which the IRB recognises and celebrates the achievements of those involved at the highest level of the world game on the field, as well as recognising the dedication and commitment given by those who work on a voluntary basis away from the field, and without whose labours the game would not survive, the IRB website said.

Click here to see the IRB video and full 2014 Award list.