The first Women's Rugby championship was played in India in May 2009 at Bombay Gymkhana. The winning team was KFANDRA - the team from the Khare's Rugby Academy in Pune, the Jungle Crows were runners up.
A short History of Jungle Crows Women's Rugby
In 2009 the then Head of Rugby Development in India Mr Greg Davey sent a message to all teams that the first Women's rugby tournament would be played in India. Probably the only Women playing rugby at this time in India were in Pune, part of Surhud Khare's Rugby Academy (KFANDRA). With this challenge we set off making the first Jungle Crows Women's team. Since there wasn't much time we decided to give ourselves an advantage by partnering with the local Kolkata campus of the Sports Authority of India, in this way we had immediate access to a group of athletes, so all we had to do was teach them rugby. The athleticism of this group was to be their stand out attribute as tournaments came thick and fast in the build up to the Commonwealth Games which was to be hosted in New Delhi in October 2010.
The first tournament was hosted by Bombay Gymkhana in May 2009 at which the Jungle Crows reached the finals, losing out 19-5 to the KFANDRA team from Pune. But this was to be this groups only loss as their fitness and pace overwhelmed all before them. Following the Commonwealth Games the flow of tournaments for Women was over, it became increasingly difficult to motivate our rugby athletes with few chances available to play and slowly the talented group of athletes we'd brought together drifted away from the game. A few remained committed but never would we be able to mount such a dominant streak.
The Pune team would stay together and took up opportunities that came along to play for India and to this day continue to set a high standard in the Women's game. And though the Crows might have slipped back it was exciting to see how a small project we'd begun in the city of Bhubaneswar with the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) would take on the mantle of leaders in the Women's game. And naturally, after some time and a few false starts we'd be back.