The World Rugby Get Into Rugby (GiR) programme – developed as a legacy initiative in conjunction with Rugby re-joining the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 – is receiving a boost in Fiji following the Fijian Men’s 7s team claiming Gold.
In an early bid to set up the Fijian campaign for a second Gold Medal in 2020 the Fijian Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts, has approved implementing the GiR programme in Schools during Physical Education Classes. This support boosts the initiatives of Oceania Rugby and the Fiji Rugby Union to train qualified GiR coaches and coordinators following the development of a joint Teacher Operational Training Plan.
The successful implementation of this Plan sees both primary and secondary school teachers attending courses to being trained as GiR coaches by qualified Development Officers. These courses link the GiR programme and the values of Rugby to the education syllabus in Fiji.
The GiR programme aims to increase the number of new players, coaches and referees while promoting the values of Rugby and ensuring that new participants are encouraged to TRY – PLAY – STAY in Rugby in a safe, enjoyable and inclusive way. For further information on the GiR Programme click HERE.
Since the implementation of the Teacher Training Plan Fiji has seen an additional 48 GiR coaches trained from over 20 Schools and the Fiji National Sports Commission in 2017. Tihrani Uluinakauvadra, Oceania Rugby GiR Cooridantor noted that this ‘Teacher Training Plan is the realisation of the joint efforts of Pacific In Union, World Rugby, Oceania Rugby and the Fiji Rugby Union to see that every school child in Fiji has access to a great Rugby experience’.
Mr Achari Shiva, Head Teacher of Ratu Luke Memorial School, who attended the first teacher training course held in Labasa on 6 March 2017 wished ‘to thank the Ministry of Education for allowing us to be part of this Workshop, we have learned the foundation and basics are very important at the young age.’
Makarita Gasau from the Mali District School said ‘Our Island school play rugby but the skills and basics we learnt through this course are the things we should be teaching our students. The four basic steps [TRY -Module 1 to Module 4] are important as it can help students acquire skills.’ Makarita was one of the two female teachers who attended.
Adam Thomas, head of Community and Pacific Partnerships at the Australian Rugby Union said that this initiative supports the growth of Rugby within the Pacific noting ‘Women’s sport, and especially women’s Rugby, is growing across the globe. This is no different in the Pacific region, where grassroots Rugby programs funded by the Australian Government and the Australian Rugby Union have seen female participation numbers dramatically increase’. This is supported with 2016 figures collected for Rugby participation within the Oceania Region where 43% of participants in the GiR and Pacific in Union programs were female with over 35,290 individuals participating in programs run in Fiji alone.