Georgian rugby professionals joining World Rugby online initiative

The online project for knowledge-sharing and networking was designed to help maintain preparedness of rugby professionals for a restart of the sport post-pandemic. Photo via World Rugby., 14 May 2020 - 17:49, Tbilisi,Georgia

Over a dozen rugby professionals from Georgia are involved in High Performance Academy, a new remote initiative by World Rugby governing body designed to maintain preparedness of the sport for its post-pandemic relaunch.

The project, launched last week, involves coaches, managers, referees and other professionals sharing their knowledge and experience as well as holding learning courses in their speciality fields.

A series of webinars, video talks and other activities are used to provide knowledge and networking opportunity in coaching, athletic performance, match officials, performance analytics, high performance and leadership.

In these fields, 14 Georgian professionals are involved: coaches Levan Maisashvili and Ilia Maisuradze, physical preparation professionals Irakli Tchkonia and David Nemsadze, referees Luka Kilasonia and Nika Amashukeli and video analysis experts David Ramishvili and Lasha Mtchedlishvili among them.

The roster of those representing the sport in Georgia also includes high performance managers Vasil Abashidze and Simon Maisuradze, team managers Irakli Khundadze and Lekso Iordanishvili as well as operations and tournament management specialists Lekso Gugava and Shalva Khabuliani.

The representation marks a special arrangement for Georgia - the original plan for the platform aimed at having a single representative from each participating country, however a request by Georgian Rugby to have two slots in each speciality field was accepted by the world governing body.

Simon Maisuradze, who is taking part in high performance management course, said the online seminars were led by "coaches and specialists of highest level" and with years of experience in top tier national rugby teams across the world.

Georgian Rugby President Gocha Svanidze commented on the new initiative by noting the digital seminar format showed solidarity among the world rugby family amid the COVID-19 pandemic and adding the webinars could be used as inexpensive form of information-sharing after the crisis.