Pass It Back, an innovative sport for development program managed by ChildFund, is heading to a third country this month as a collaboration with the Philippines Rugby Union (PRFU) gets underway in Negros Occidental. This will be the program’s third country after Laos and Vietnam, which have seen more than 2,500 players take part in regular rugby and life-skills learning over the past 18 months, with girls making up over 50 per cent of the players and coaches.
This collaboration has come together under ChildFund’s Pass it Back program, which promotes the right to play in communities where children have little or no access to organised sport. Using a fully integrated rugby and life-skills curriculum, Pass it Back not only supports young people’s health and wellbeing but provides important learning opportunities around leadership, life skills and gender equality to help them overcome challenges, inspire positive change and ‘pass it back’ to their communities.
As part of this collaboration, the program will work with the PRFU to train 12 Coaches to deliver the Pass It Back curriculum, which builds on World Rugby’s Get Into Rugby program, by also delivering life-skills learning opportunities. Eighteen new teams will pick up a rugby ball during this collaboration, which will run from February to September.
This collaboration is supported by the Australian Government’s aid program through its Asia Sports Partnerships (ASP) initiative, which was established to foster links between Australia and Asia that promote community health, disability inclusion, gender equality and social cohesion.
“ChildFund’s Pass it Back program was set up for disadvantaged children living in communities across Asia, who face significant challenges around poverty and inequality,” said ChildFund Australia CEO Nigel Spence.
“As the program develops, it is wonderful to deepen our relationship with the PRFU to further build the knowledge and skills of players and coaches, and to inspire them to be strong leaders and role models within their communities.”
“The PRFU is excited to continue our collaboration with ChildFund and to add another string to our bow by integrating our existing rugby development work with life skills education,” said PRFU Secretary General Ada Milby. “We are particularly excited to build on Pass It Back’s successes to date by getting more girls and young women playing rugby in the Philippines.”
ChildFund Japan Philippine Office Country Director, Rina Munsayac, said “This partnership with the PRFU is an exciting step in our work in the Philippines to use sport as a tool to ensure that every child has the opportunity to develop to their full potential.”
Pass It Back activities during this initial collaboration will run from February to August 2017.
Story and Photos: Chris Mastaglio