IRB Pacific Rugby Cup Legacy Program launched today
The International Rugby Board (IRB) and the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) will today launch the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup Legacy Program in Sigatoka.
The Pacific Rugby Cup (PRC) is just not a rugby tournament that delivers high level competition for both aspiring and current international players. It is a tournament with a strong Legacy program linked to it – one that is designed to create a lasting benefit not only for players but for the rugby community and the broader local population of the Host Union.
Through the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup Legacy program, the IRB and the FRU are partnering with a number of high profile organisations to tackle some of the region’s key development challenges whilst also ensuring there is a very clear Rugby legacy through the delivery of targeted Rugby-specific programs.
The IRB Pacific Rugby Cup Legacy program comprises:
'Play Clean, Stay Green' Environmental Awareness Program in partnership with the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF);
Tree planting and reforestisation program in partnership with the Fijian Department of Fisheries and Forests (DOFF);
HIV-AIDS Awareness and Training Program in partnership with the STOP HIV Program of the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC);
An anti-doping Education Program in partnership with the Oceania Regional Anti-Doping Office (ORADO);
Judicial Training workshops in Samoa and Fiji delivered by the IRB.
Tournament Sponsor, ANZ, have also committed to the tournament Legacy program and will assist in the delivery of the environmental and social awareness elements of the strategy.
The Environmental Legacy programs are being driven by the Fiji Rugby Union and it is anticipated they will have long term benefits for the island nation.
"The legacy programme is an excellent IRB initiative which enables the Fiji Rugby Union to use rugby to help highlight a community issue” said FRU CEO Keni Dakuidreketi.
“I'm thrilled all IRB Pacific Rugby Cup teams have come on board and have chosen the theme set forward by our own Department of Fisheries and Forests to 'plant one million trees in one year as a gift to our future generation”.
It's an issue that is a global one and we are using the global game of rugby to do our bit locally to highlight the importance of reforestation within the region and in Fiji in particular" added Dakuidreketi.
With such a large combined sea area, it is no surprise that the WWF South Pacific Programme has over the past 10 years largely focused its efforts on conservation and natural resource management of the marine environment. A key threat to many marine species, Fiji’s natural environment and people’s dependence upon it, is the improper disposal of rubbish which eventually contributes to marine debris. For example, plastic bags in the water are often mistaken by turtles to be jellyfish and upon consumption, they choke and die. With a high profile group such as national rugby players, it may begin to turn the tide on this issue. These legacy issues will be addressed with a ‘Clean Nabukalou Creek’ program in the heart of Suva City, and ‘Monitor Seagrass Meadows’ in Sigatoka. The slogan of ‘Play Clean, Stay Green’ throughout the duration of the competition will bring added interest to the issues, and hopefully generate attitudinal change especially in young people.
The second Environmental Legacy program is that of tree planting and reforestation which addresses such issues as climate change, reducing carbon emission from deforestation and carbon trading. The Department of Fisheries and Forests in Fiji currently has a campaign running with the object being to plant one million trees by 2011. As part of the Legacy Program the department has invited the FRU to participate in the campaign. Tree planting will take place in Sigatoka, Lautoka and Nadi, with rugby players involved in this initiative.
Social Education can make significant differences to individuals and can have a knock-on effect in the community. Each player in the tournament will participate in the STOP HIV education program. The Sports Training and Outreach Program on HIV (STOP HIV) is a regional Pacific Program managed by the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) and aims to improve knowledge, reduce stigma and discrimination, and promote safer sexual practices among the sporting community of Oceania. As well as the education program for players, STOP HIV Ambassadors will be at targeted Pacific Rugby Cup matches to deliver the message to the rugby public.
Similarly, each player will participate in the education programs of the Oceania Regional Anti-Doping Office (ORADO) which aims to promote and coordinate the fight against doping in all its forms throughout Oceania. The education program complements the IRB’s ‘Keep Rugby Clean’ anti doping education program and will ensure all participating players in the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup receive the best possible education in ‘Keeping Rugby Clean’.
Judicial Training Workshops will be held in Samoa and Fiji and are aimed at educating a pool of Citing Commissioners and Judicial Officers as part of the IRB’s comprehensive disciplinary program. Over 30 people, including legal professionals, former referees and former players, have been invited to attend the workshop which is designed to train a greater number of judicial staff so that the rigours of the IRB’s judicial program can filter down to local rugby. A Judicial Training program was run in Tonga during last year’s Pacific Rugby Cup. The workshops will be delivered by Roger Drummond and Nigel Hampton QC – both of whom have performed Judicial functions at the highest level including Super 14 and Tri-Nations tests. It is a rugby Legacy program that will ensure there are a number of local individuals with the skills to be able to practically implement judicial procedures after players have been dismissed from the field of play for contravening the Foul Play Law.
The IRB is acutely aware that it has a social responsibility off the field of play, and is totally supportive of these excellent Legacy initiatives centred on the Pacific Rugby Cup.
7 May venue:
Planting at Lawaqa Park and sightseeing at Biausevu in Sigatoka.
Teams involved - Air Pacific Warriors and Bodyguard Barbarians.
Other venues and team involvement:
Tautahi Gold (33 persons) 11 May Tree Planting in Lautoka and sightseeing at the Garden of the Sleeping Giants
Tau’uta Reds (33 persons) 20th May Tree Planting and sightseeing in Denarau.
Savai’I Samoa (33 persons) 20th May Tree Planting and sightseeing in Denarau.
Upolu Samoa (33 persons) 20th May Tree Planting and sightseeing in Denarau.