S.R.U. to support, celebrate women's rugby

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

This week will start with the launch of the Equal Playing Field Community 7s Festival from September 2–5. Other activities include Girls Leadership Forum, a Girls Rugby Careers Expo, and the Equal Playing Field Community 7s Tournament this weekend. 

Samoa Rugby Union’s Equal Playing Field Community 7s Festival is supported by the UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office’s through its partnership with Oceania Rugby. 

They are using rugby to promote gender equality and over the longer-term work to prevent violence against women and girls, which is central to the agreement between UN Women Fiji MCO and Oceania Rugby.

The programs are supported through the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls [Pacific Partnership].

Pacific Partnership is primarily funded by the European Union [€12.7m] with targeted support from the Governments of Australia [€6.2m] and New Zealand [€3.2m] and cost-sharing with the UN Women [€0.6m]. 

“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," says the UN Women Samoa Country Program Coordinator, Mele Maualaivau.

“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 a 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 now in full swing with our development team now out there introducing the game through our Get in Rugby program at Schools, village communities, giving an 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.

“S.R.U. continues to engage with new partners through Oceania Rugby to achieve health, education, and gender development outcomes.”

The S.R.U. 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.

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