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Men’s team emerge national champions; women’s lift silver on their debut at the 10th All India National Touch Rugby Championships. 
The Goa Touch Rugby teams pose with their trophies at the 10th All India National Touch Rugby Championships held at Madhav Rao Sapre School Ground, Raipur, Chattisgarh.
PANJIM, GOA: The Goa Touch Rugby ended their season on a happy note with their Men’s team defeating Chattisgarh 3-0 in the finals of the 10thAll India National Touch Rugby Championships to win the Gold while Goa Women’s Touch Rugby squad bagged the Silver in Raipur, Chattisgarh on Thursday.
The Goa Women’s team fought well in the finals but Chattisgarh got the better of them to win the gold with a 2-1 win.  Goa Touch Rugby Men’s team hammered reigning champions Haryana 7-1 in the semi-finals while the Goa Touch Rugby Women’s squad beat Delhi 3-1 in the semi-finals to advance.
The All India National Touch Rugby Championships was held from December 27th , 28th and 29th with a total of 13 States participating in the championship. Karnataka, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Haryana, Bihar, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Chattisgarh, Telangana, Chandigarh and Madhya Pradesh boosted the championships with some excellent touch rugby skills. The event was organised by Federation of International Touch, Touch Rugby Federation of India and Chattisgarh Touch.
For Anish Quenim, President of Goa Rugby & Goa Touch, the main objective was to create a new breed of young ruggers; to promote a rugby culture and to give rugby its due as a sport to Goa.
“It’s really special feeling to finally get that label for all the efforts we as Goa have put in to develop this sport over the last 3 seasons. Our journey begins now. We are very proud of all involved, from the technical crew, Media, sponsors, associates, fans, players and families,” said a jubilant Anish.
The sport was introduced in Goa just 3 years ago and now has over 5000 players of all ages, boys, girls and youth in over 100 schools, communities and clubs throughout the State.
“This ones for “Amche Goa”. It was even more special when all the other 12 States came up to us and confirmed an Association for Development, making Goa as the base and also confirming around 5 Friendly Series through the year in Goa and around India, their Salute to our Sportsmanship was an icing on the Cake. This Gold and Silver to emerge as the Champions of India is our gift to the people of Goa this New Year’s Day Happy New Year,”
A team of 15 Men and 15 Women from Goa headed for the nationals with a support staff of two managers and coaches accompanying the Men’s and Women’s team. The total Goa Touch Rugby squad comprised of 34 members.
Belinda Trotter who is an Ex Wales International player and Manager of the Wales international team was the coach for the women’s squad. While coach David Trotter, who had been a rugby player for the past 30 years was responsible for the activities related to the Men’s development.
The owners of the 4 Club franchises,   Mr Duarteson Noronha, Crazy Pirates (North Goa), Mr Brandan Crasto, CrocoTRYles (South Goa), Mr Aaron D’mello, Saints (East Goa) and Mr Tej Shirodkar, TRYmates (West Goa) thanked the players, parents and club officials for the unconditional support.
CrocoTRYles had 11 players representing Team Goa followed by Crazy Pirates with 10 players, TRYmates 8 and Saints has 2 players in the national squad.
The Goa Women’s Touch Rugby squad had come from diverse backgrounds, but they stood united in their love for the game and the desire to rise above sexist stereotyping.
Chrisha Lobo, captain of the Goa Women’s Touch Rugby squad was euphoric about the team measuring up to the challenge.
“Firstly, I would like to thank Coach Bee, Dave and Anish for the support they have rendered. I would also like to thank each and every family member who have supported us from Goa and all the competing teams that encouraged us throughout this tournament.
“Not to forget my very own team mates, without their enthusiasm, passion and all the effort they put in till the last second, none of this would be possible and we wouldn’t have reached so far.
“Team Goa thank you for believing in me and giving me this great opportunity to captain the Goa women’s team,” said Chrisha on a very emotional note.
The girls finally found an outlet to their brimming talent in a sport that is a test of mind as they got the freedom to knock down their opponent and stopped at nothing but a try.
The top Top 3 Try scorers in the women’s squad was Claudia Crizzle 4 Try’s, Chrisha Lobo 2 Try’s and Anita Nishad with 2 Try’s.
“I’m literally lost on words but I would like to thank all the players for being amazing and helping each other in winning what we have won today,” said Nauman Shaikh, captain of the Goa Men’s team.
“This was a super amazing journey and it’s surely a Happy Happy Year for us all,” said Nauman.
 The top Try scorers in the Men’s team was Nauman Shaikh 6 Try’s, Soham Shirodkar 6 Try’s,
Kaniel D’souza  5 Try’s and Ajay Nishad 4 Try’s.
The Goa Rugby lifted the All India National Touch Rugby Championships trophy fulfilling many dreams, and fuelling the future ambitions of young players.
Goa Rugby is an Association backed by Sports Authority of Goa, Goa Olympics Association, Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs, Touch Rugby Federation of India, Federation of International Touch, Bishop Gore Rugby and Middle East Touch.
The GoaAmche Project by Goa Rugby & Goa Touch is powered by hospitality partners BanquetSPORTS, merchandise partners QRAB, Education partners Goa Psychology Association. Television partners RDX Goa and media partners Goa Network7. 

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