ChildFund Pass It Back progam proves sport has power to remove barriers in Asia
(VNF) - Have been timid, faint-hearted girls but after practicing rugby now they become more confident in life.
Fifteen female rugby players from marginalised communities in Asia, including 5 from Vietnam, will today depart for Belfast to participate in the ChildFund Pass It Back Cup, in the lead up Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017.
The female players coming from Vietnam, Laos, The Philippines will play under the banner of the South-East Asian Dragons, and compete with girl teams from across Belfast in the ChildFund Pass It Back Cup 2017 Belfast, a tag rugby event, at Belfast Harlequins RFC on 21 August, the day before the Women’s Rugby World Cup Semi-Final.
The female rugby players will today depart for Belfast to participate in the ChildFund Pass It Back Cup
‘’Many of these girls have not left their province before, let alone flown on a plane to a different country. This is going to be such a great opportunity for them to see some of their roles models in action’’, said Chris Mastaglio, Director of ChildFund Pass It Back.
The coach of Vietnam team, Bui Thi Tang - 17 years old, from Kim Boi (Hoa Binh province, Vietnam) used to be a very shy girl.
‘’When the program "Pass It Back" was seeking players, I did not dare to register for participation because I thought I couldn't. However, inspired by my mother that ‘Nothing is impossible’, I joined the program and was selected as the team's coach.’’, Tang said.
“The practice of rugby and learning life skills has made me more confident in life. I hope the trip to Belfast will be meaningful. I will learn useful things from international players and pass it back to my friends at home ", she added.
Bui Thi Quynh - 16 years old, also a timid girl before practicing rugby. Now, this sport has become a passion in her life and she hopes to become a professional player in the future. As for Bui Thi Hoa, 13, the youngest member of the team, rugby is a sport that brings in a lot of health and self-confidence.
Rugby is an unfamiliar sport in many Asian countries, meaning there are no fixed ideas about who should be playing it.
Mr. Chris Mastaglio, said: “ChildFund Pass It Back was established for young people who face significant poverty and have few, if any, opportunities to get involved in organised sport. For young girls, the obstacles are even greater.
To date, more than 3,000 children and youth from Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam have benefitted from participation in ChildFund Pass It Back, with girls making up over 50 per cent of the players and coaches.
Mrs Deborah Leaver, Director of ChilldFund Vietnam said “The mission of ChildFund Pass It Back is to increase gender equality and equip young people with life skills, so that they could be more confident.’’
Pass It Back is an innovative sport for development program led by ChildFund in partnership with World Rugby, Asia Rugby and Women Win. The program using rugby to increase gender equality and equip children and young people with essential life skills to overcome the challenges of poverty and inequality.
Results from the first two years of the program show that Pass It Back is successful in achieving inpidual development for participants and positive social impact in their communities.