The FIRFL – Federazione Italiana Rugby Football League arose in 2009 with clubs from Rome, Florence and Catania, as a natural evolution of the previous Italy Rugby League in 1995 (via Australia) and FIRL (2008) to return the sport and meet professional requirements necessary to bringing the sport back to country beyond the level it was at when disappearing from Italy in the 1960’s. Officially in June and July 2010, the championship had four clubs and about 150 athletes within those clubs, the federation has since moved to 9 super clubs participating in the championship and more than 50 affiliated clubs in various annual activity, with more than 2000 members.
The real cause of the exponential growth is through the creation of a series of events that that lead into the r-Evolution League with the Coppa Italia created in 2010, general development activity, International event in 2013 in Palmi (RC), social projects by the Institute for deaf children Magarotto and a prison in Frosinone that was the first prison to officially participate in a federal national championship. It was an historic year in 2013 for the FIRFL with the first Senior International (all players selected from the championships) played in Palmi, Reggio Calabria in May against a selection of International Players, the Barbarian Warriors RL and in July, the first national youth representative development initiative with u17’s participating in a North vs South match after over 120 athletes participated in regional meetings and 34 in the final selection in Avezzano,
The FIRFL is a non-profit association registered with the commercial register, which aims to achieve a associative circuit to spread and develop the game of Rugby League, but above all to create in Italy, a centre of reference for players, clubs or just fans, to learn or improve their technical and tactical knowledge within this great sport. The 13-a-side must be regarded as a sport, autonomous and independent. The values of the FIRFL are ones of tradition, culture (players are the bearer of the sports values in their own lives), friendship (respect and loyalty), education and non-violence.
The FIRFL have announced the formation of a “Rugby Charity Camp” for rugby league with the basic purpose of the African project using rugby league as a tool for education as the sport stimulates the ability and potential of children in teaching them from the start how to behave on the playing field and in life.
FIRFL state: “The sport is a way to give competitions for individuals, the talent of the individual, but also to provide a way of growth for a group in which these individuals merge into pre-established plans, therefore transferring these contributions and skills into the spirit of the game and group bond. It is this “group life” principle that is a specific feature of any rugby. Practicing it does go toward specific educational objective such as growing children in absolute compliance with rules among others, not forgetting the main objective: fun. The sport of Rugby League – the game is definitely something more than a simple sport. It’s a different way of understanding life perhaps. IT’S certainly a fight, to even fight hard but also in compliance with rules.”
The project the ‘Rugby Charity Camp’ is a project that has a very precise aim of “to create on the school fields an opportunity for children attending schools or orphanages where they can play the game of rugby league, educating them the values and the principles of the sport.”
To reach the aim, the FIRFL plan “to employ a team composed of two federal technical members and a supervisor that education activities will take place through at the school and orphanages fields for a period of 5 months with a maximum of three weekly workouts. For the realisation of the project it is crucial to collect accessions and the financial support submitted by partners interested in the initiative.”
The project objectives begins with “the support of economically and socially disadvantaged within the social fabric in the host country. The project aims to create free Rugby League courses for orphaned children, in order to transfer them to the values of loyalty, friendship and perseverance as they are the key principles of the FIRFL, therefore the formation of children is not only in sport, but especially educational, trying to channel the aggressiveness of children only with the game on the field.” The economic objectives will begin with “finding the funds necessary for the sustaining the project through sponsorship and donations. The image objectives are that social action in the territory harbours image returns not only in the media, but especially at the social level in the territory concerned.”