North Macedonia takes steps towards RL comp

Following their acceptance as observer members of International Rugby League, North Macedonia has taken the first steps to set up a club in the capital city Skopje. Damjan Georgievski and Slavko Jovanovski from Rugby League North Macedonia visited Belgrade and met with European Rugby League regional director Jovan Vujosevic and Serbian Rugby League Federation general secretary Vladan Kikanovic, to outline their plans for establishing Rugby League Club Vardar and requested assistance and expertise on how to promote the sport and attract new members.

“This was a great experience, we got a lot of useful information and now we have guidelines on what we need to do to start domestic rugby league in North Macedonia,” said Rugby League Club Vardar CEO Georgievski. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Serbian Rugby League Federation for their warm welcome and help as well as our brothers in Australia, and especially chairman Petar Ristevski, who connected us through the ambassador of North Macedonia in Australia with the director of the Agency for Youth and Sports in our country.

“We hope to meet soon with the Agency in order to have all the necessary information for official recognition of the sport. The plan is to form four clubs initially in the major cities of Skopje, Bitola, Prilep and Strumica.”

Jovan Vujosevic, noted: “There is great enthusiasm for the sport in North Macedonia, they are eager for knowledge and success. Damjan and Slavko presented all the necessary criteria for the sport to become a government recognized body, and how they can create a Federation that would be accepted. I am familiar that Vardar is a big sporting brand in North Macedonia covering various sports such as football and handball and I have no doubt that Damjan and Slavko will attract new athletes for rugby league as a result.”

The pair visited the Serbian Rugby League Federation offices and clubs Radnicki Belgrade and Partisan Belgrade, meeting Radnicki player Atanas Trimceski who is of North Macedonia origin. Vladan Kikanovic presented the pair with rugby balls, cones, and other sport equipment to help start their journey.