The legacy of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 is being felt far beyond the shores of host nation Ireland almost six months after the record-breaking event took place in Dublin and Belfast. Not least in Asia as a result of the 15 players and three coaches from ChildFund Pass It Back in Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines who travelled to Belfast during the knockout stages of the tournament.
The team, touring as the South East Asia (SEA) Dragons, spent seven days in Northern Ireland's capital city not only taking part in rugby events but also cultural exchanges and life skill activities.
The climax of the tour was the ChildFund Pass It Back Cup, a competition that brought together more than 100 local female players with those from the three Asian countries.
ChildFund Pass It Back is a Sport for Development programme led by ChildFund in partnership with World Rugby, Asia Rugby and Women Win which delivers an integrated life skills and rugby curriculum for children and youths in disadvantaged communities across Asia.
The programme, which was not only a part of the WRWC 2017 Impact Beyond programme but also for Rugby World Cup 2019, seeks to equip young people to overcome challenges, inspire positive social change and “pass it back” to their communities.
To date, the programme has delivered more than 20,000 training sessions to over 4,000 players with 170 coaches trained and 311 teams formed across Asia. More than 50 per cent of these players and coaches are female, highlight ChildFund Pass It Back’s commitment to promoting gender equality.
Happy Lunar New Year everyone! Here’s a sneak peek of our ‘Rise of the SEA Dragons’ documentary, which shows the ChildFund Pass It Back Cup in Belfast!— ChildFund PIB (@ChildFundPIB) February 16, 2018
Watch the complete film at https://t.co/9cWTxT1CPY #PassItBack #ImpactBeyond2017 #ImpactBeyond2019 pic.twitter.com/u6zfMlRb3P
Australia finished sixth at WRWC 2017 and the Wallaroos paid a visit to the Pass It Back Cup to lend their support, spending time talking to players and coaches about their experiences, offering some inspiring words and support from the sidelines.
“The impact of this trip on the players is an increase in self-confidence, a new knowledge from their experiences during training, learning about different cultures and getting along with people from other countries despite the language barriers,” said Angel, a coach from the Philippines.
“Hopefully they’ll be able to realise they will be able to receive more opportunities if they persevere.”
To mark the start of the Lunar New Year on Friday, ChildFund Pass It Back have released a video of the SEA Dragons trip to Ireland and their involvement in the Impact Beyond programme at WRWC 2017.
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