School rugby has for many years been dominated by boys competitions but Samoa Rugby Union Development Officer and International Referee Avii Faalupega Magele says there has been a notable increase of interest shown by school girls, and they are keen and eager to learn.
Avi’i Faalupega Magele told Samoa Global News the main challenge for girls learning the sport of rugby at a late age in high school, is to learn the rules of the game, and the roles of various positions on the field.
“Their physical strength and their mental fitness is always strong,” said Avii.
“The challenge is their knowledge and understanding in terms of plays, running lines, general rules of the game, and their individual roles in the various positions of rugby.”
Enthusiasm and a willingness to learn is not lacking in Samoa’s school girls, and according to Ms Faalupega, that is a good platform for developing women’s rugby further.
“Their eagerness is really amazing, and we can really tell that by watching them play.. they are so eager to learn more about the game,” she said
Avi’i shares that what is needed going forward, is an holistic approach to supporting girls’ participation in all sports – from both genders, and from the community at large.
“I would like to see more women and men supporting the girls who are already playing in not just rugby, but all other sports. We need to encourage them when we see that they are keen to be involved in male-dominating activities such as refereeing, coaching, administration, and all other areas where women are not often seen…” she added.
Under 18 is the only category of girls teams included in the National School Rugby Competition for 2021. The semi-finals and finals will be held tomorrow (Friday 16th) starting 9am at St Joseph’s College.