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You're reading: Rugby: building character in Ukraine

On the pitch, two teams of boys and, in some cases, girls, run, dodge and tackle as they dispute possession of an oval-shaped ball, gradually becoming muddier as they do so. It’s fast-paced, end-to-end stuff involving fitness, strategy and sophisticated tactics in a full-contact sport.

No wonder people say that rugby is one of the greatest character-building activities on earth. And no wonder that everyone here at the Spartak Stadium in Kyiv is having a terrific time.

I first went to Spartak to see the John Marsh Memorial Youth Rugby Tournament way back in 2008, and first blogged about it in 2009 (when the weather was kinder). It’s a terrific event, organised by a group of enthusiasts to help increase the popularity of rugby in Ukraine, and has now been going for eight years.

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