Record participation for National Sevens Series points to growth in women’s game

With a record nine teams confirmed to take part in the first leg of the Bluesky National Women’s Sevens Series, participation levels in local female rugby appear to be growing.

No Idea, Apia Maroons, Tepatasi, Marist Angels, A’ana Blues, Teine Uli, Avele College, Nafanua Hawks and Aiga ile Tai will all contest the first of three legs on Saturday at the Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.)’s High Performance Unit fields in Tuana’imato.

S.R.U. women’s rugby development officer Avi’i Falupega Magele said the increased number of teams showcases the growth of the women’s game.

“The goal is to increase the number of participants, so with a greater number of females involved in the game, there will be more tournaments and more opportunities to represent the country,” she said.

“More teams set to take the field this Saturday is something the coaches should be grateful for and the girls as well.”

Fa’alupega Magele sees the increased numbers benefitting the Manusina 7s programme as well:

“The more girls and women play the women’s game, the more competitive the competitions will be and there will be more players to look at in terms of selection for the Manusina.

“From these three legs of sevens, 12 players will be selected to join the other 12 already selected from the Marist Sevens for the Manusina 7s preparation for the Olympic repechage qualifying tournament in June.”

She said S.R.U are working hard to translate interest into the 15s game as well, and build up the domestic competition to give players greater exposure to the structure of the code.

But Fa’alupega Magele said there are benefits of greater participation in rugby that go beyond the sport itself.

“Learning how to be tough and be leaders of the next,” she said.

“Women should be taught how to be strong and be humble.

“When it comes to the tough times of playing the sport, she has to be humble and respect the counterparts but be tough to counter the challenges.

“Women should most of all support other women that’s what rugby teaches them.”

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