Record Number of Women and Girls at the West Kids Festival

Oceania Rugby, Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:50AM

Opening round of the 2017 Crest West Kids Festival, Nadi, FIJI Photo Credit: Oceania Rugby

The West Kids Rugby Festival kicked-off in Nadi today with a record number of primary school players, boys and girls, women coaches and team managers.
The festival started three years ago in 2014, as a rugby development event for several 100s of primary school boys and has expanded to a national event attracting more than 2000 girls and boys. This growth has been enabled by support from Fiji Rugby, and Oceania Rugby with its new gender equality partner UN Women.
Bruce Cook, Rugby Services Manager Oceania – World Rugby, said “the West Kids Rugby Festival - being held over three days from 15-17 August at Nadi’s Prince Charles Park – has proved to be a perfect forum to encourage the participation of women and girls in rugby.”  
“Coaches and players are being given a chance to break down barriers, have equal levels of access, respect and participation on the rugby field,” Cook added.
Cathy Wong, Women’s Director Oceania Rugby, when asked about the festival said “It is changing the way people look at the game and not just because we have record numbers of girls and women playing rugby in Fiji, but also because of the leadership of women as coaches who have incredible passion that everyone can see and hear on the sideline of rugby games”.
According to Aleta Miller, UN Women’s Representative for the Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO) that has announced a new partnership with Oceania Rugby, “it’s great to see record numbers of girls participating in this festival especially considering only three years ago there were none.”
“There are untold stories here about how, for years, social changes have been taking place in rugby - that for a long time has been a male dominated sport - as more women and girls play, coach, manage and lead within Pacific rugby,” Ms Miller said.
Last updated: Tuesday August 15, 2017 9:53AM
Author: Sarah Walker