Future for Women's Rugby in Samoa is bright
Secondary schools are working together to build Samoa’s future women’s rugby team by nurturing the talent of young girls through the inter school rugby competition.
Three schools have put in teams for the 10-a-side under18 girls division and a total of four teams will play against each other to see who will come out on top as the champions this year.
Faatuiese Manu coaches the Faleata College U18 girl’s team and is very happy that Lakapi Samoa have brought back the rugby tournament for the girls to play.
“I have seen that our girls have a lot of interest in rugby and a lot of them have a little to no experience in the sport and this was a challenge for me as a coach to put together a worthy team,” she said.
Mrs. Manu was a participant of the Get into Rugby (GIR) PLUS program delivered by Lakapi Samoa. This was a sports development program of Oceania Rugby and UN Women’s office in Samoa. This workshop was designed for teachers who could become competent rugby coaches to develop girls rugby league teams in their schools.
“I was fortunate enough to be a part of the trainings and from that I really wanted to work together with the girls of our school to build on the talent they have for rugby which often gets overlooked. Nowadays more girls are interested in rugby,” said Mrs. Manu.
The Church College of Pesega joined the tournament with two teams making this a great responsibility for their coach Grace Saveaalii Schwenke.
“This is our second year since we have participated in the inter-school rugby competition and this was never a sport for the girls at our college, it was just for boys,” said Ms. Schwenke
“Now however we have seen that a lot of girls are interested in the sport and I was able to participate in sport development workshops that built an interest in me to raise the level of women in sports and I want to be one of the game changers for women in sports for my school Pesega,” she said
“If I could put in more teams I would have, there are just so many girls now very interested in the sport than there is in netball. I encourage all girls to go for it and show off their talent in rugby and overcome the odds.”
It is the third year for Get into Rugby PLUS to consistently deliver the program in colleges where the program focuses on developing highly skilled coaches – males and females – equally skilled in coaching rugby league and facilitating life skills learning with young people.
Lakapi Samoa in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development, the Australian Government and UN Women facilitate Safeguarding and Child Protection and Gender-based Violence Training for the teachers.
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