Women in Rugby Launch “Equal Playing Field” Activities

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Wednesday 02 September, 2020.  The Samoa Rugby Union is celebrating the growth of rugby among women and girls with a month of activities, as part of Oceania Unstoppables – Women in Rugby Month.

This week will begin with the launch of the Equal Playing Field Community 7s Festival, running from September 2-5 which includes a Girls Leadership Forum, a Girls Rugby Careers Expo and the Equal Playing Field Community 7s Tournament this weekend.

The Festival is being supported by UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office’s (MCO) through its partnership with Oceania Rugby.

Using rugby to promote gender equality and, longer term, to prevent violence against women and girls is central to an agreement between UN Women Fiji MCO and Oceania Rugby which is supported through the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls (Pacific Partnership).

Pacific Partnership is primarily funded by the European Union (EUR12.7m) with targeted support from the governments of Australia (EUR6.2m) and New Zealand (EUR3.2m) and cost-sharing with UN Women (EUR0.6m).

UN Women Country Program Coordinatior Papalii Mele Maualaivao said, “UN Women through the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls is proud to support the Equal Playing Field Community 7s Festival here in Samoa.

“It is the perfect way to start off Women in Rugby Month by bringing together young and aspiring female athletes to learn, play, and inspire each other. Creating safe spaces where female athletes and leaders feel encouraged, supported, and mentored can enhance the mental, psychological and spiritual health of Samoan girls and young women.”

“UN Women through its broader regional partnership with Oceania Rugby, and it’s national partnership with the Samoa Rugby Union, believes that creating an equal playing field can only help everyone to reach their greatest potential.”

Samoa Rugby Chief Executive Officer Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai said that this month is an extension of their support of women’s rugby and in partnership with the UN Women through the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls.

“We are working closely to foster our relationship with our Government’s Ministry of Women, Communities and Social development and of course the Ministry of Health which plays a big role in our collective health and physical programs to promote through rugby healthy diet and nutrition,” Faleomavaega said.

“The Operational Plan of our Strategic Plan is in full swing with our Development Team now out there introducing the Game through our Get into Rugby program at Schools, Village Communities, giving opportunity to young girls to learn about the Game and its Laws, create awareness not only for the players but there are numerous opportunities for women in Coaching, Referees and as Administrators,” he added.

“SRU continues to engage with new partners through Oceania Rugby to achieve health, education and gender development outcomes,” Faleomavaega said.

The Samoa Rugby Union will host key events throughout the month of September focusing on the participation and growth of the game amongst female players and rugby in schools.

Captains lineup at recent national 7s tournament

 

Significant Events for Women’s Rugby 

  • Wednesday(2 Sept) – Women in Rugby Workshop for female players from clubs around Samoa. Presenters from the Ministry of Police, Samoa Association of Sports & National Olympic Committee and Brown Girl Woke. 
  • Thursday(3 Sept) – Women in Rugby Career Day for female players from clubs and schools around Samoa. This open up an opportunity for teachers. 
  • Saturday(5th Sept) – Festival for Open Women’s teams, boys and girls (Under 10s, Under 13s & U16s) 
  • The other festivals are mentioned in the schedule of the month. 

Samoa Rugby Union Schedule for September: 

  • Wednesday(2 Sept) – Women in Rugby Workshop for female players from clubs 
  • Thursday(3rd Sept) – Women in Rugby Career Day for female players from clubs, girls from schools and teachers 
  • Saturday(5th sep) – Festival for U10s(boys & girls), U13s(girls & boys), U16s(girls & boys) and Open Women’s teams 
  • Friday(11th Sep) – Schools 7s & 10s Festival in Upolu for Upolu Schools(u18 boys & U17 girls) 
  • Saturday(12th Sep) – Aleipata & Anoamaa (U10s, U13s and U16s both boys and girls) festivals 
  • Friday(18th Sep) – Savaii Schools 7s & 10s Festival (U18 boys & U17 girls) 
  • Saturday(19th Sep) – Savaii (U10s, U13s & U16s both boys & girls) festival 
  • Friday(25th Sep) – Schools Champs of Champs in Upolu(U18 boys & U17 girls) 
  • Sartuday (26th Sep) – Lefaga & Aana(U10s, U13s & U16s both boys & girls) festival 
  • Wednesday(30th Sep) – Falealili Primary Schools(U10s & U13s both boys & girls) festival 

Participation Numbers for Get Into Rugby in Samoa (Female Players) 

  • Number of female participation in Get into Rugby 2017 – 4400 
  • Number of female participation in Get into Rugby 2018 – 7800 
  • Number of female participation in Get into Rugby 2019 – 10,000 

Elite Representation for Women’s Rugby 

  • 2017 – Manu Sina 7s (5th Oceania 7s Tournament) 
  • 2018 – Manu Sina 7s (5th Oceania 7s Tournament) 
  • 2019 – Manu Sina 7s (5th Oceania 7s Tournament) 
  • 2019 – Manua Sina 7s (4th Pacific Games) 
  • 2019 – Asia Pacific 15s Comeptition(1st) 
  • 2019 – Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship(2nd)