Support from parents and guardians is essential for children and youth, especially if they are to be able to develop to their full potential and pursue their interests and dreams. This support also has a ripple effect on those around them. For instance, a father supporting his son in his pursuit of new interests or activities.
Here, we see how a father’s support for his son’s participation in Pass It Back activities have been a key factor in his son’s development from a Pass It Back player to a Pass It Back coach, and how he has become a healthier and more capable young man.
Ananalet Sadsapho is 52 years old, and he lives in Wattay Noita Village, Sikhottabong District, Vientiane. He is a public servant working for the Tax Office. He is also the father of Boddy, who is a Pass It Back coach with the Lao Rugby Federation.
He told us how he first heard about rugby through his son, who told him about how he signed up to play rugby when an LRF coach – called Tam – came to his school to run Pass It Back sessions and start a tag rugby team there. After her joined up, his son began training all the time.
He wanted his son to play rugby because he himself likes to play sport, like rattan ball, pétanque, and football. However, he also listened keenly to his son as he told him all about rugby, how it is played, what it is like, and that he is playing the tag version of rugby, not the full-contact version.
He also told us “I see my son’s dedication to his training and how much he has developed and matured. Before, he was not a very strong boy, and was often not well, but after he started playing rugby, he stopped getting sick and hurt and became much more fit and healthy.
I have been watching my son closely, and sometimes I even go and watch him play in competitions– he plays on a team called the “Pitbulls”, which is his school team. Each morning my son gets up at 6:30 am to go study and play.”
Along with his son’s news about his trainings in Vientiane, he also heard about how his son travelled to Xieng Khouang province to compete in a Pass It Back tournament organised by the Lao Rugby Federation (LRF), which had teams from Vientiane, Xieng Khouang, and Vietnam.
His son’s team finished fourth overall. He didn’t feel angry or upset with his son but he had a talk with him to support him, saying “It’s okay, next time you can give it all, and you still have much time to improve.” After attending the competition in Xieng Khouang, Boddy attended a camp in Vang Vieng as a support coach and was put in charge of the P&T Women’s Youth Team from Phonethan Secondary School.
Boddy’s father felt very proud of him for being a part of the camp and taking on this role. He believes these experiences have changed his life significantly, and his son has told him about many, such as: how to play tag rugby, how to be disciplined in one’s life, how to be respectful to others, and how to be a person of integrity, all of which he has learnt via participating in the Pass It Back curriculum.
While Boddy’s father was telling us about his son, he expressed his gratitude to the Lao Rugby Federation, ChildFund, and to the Australia Embassy for supporting such good activities for youth and children, such as his son, and for providing them with many new experiences to learn from.
Boddy’s father also supports his son’s rugby endeavours. He also hopes rugby can grow and expand into new areas in Laos, especially as a sport like rugby can be a powerful tool to keep youth away from drugs and other negative behaviours.
He also hopes there will be lost of tag rugby competitions held in order to give players and coaches lots of experience, and so that they can develop themselves together. He hopes that, in the future, his son will improve even more and become an accomplished tag rugby player, maybe even playing for the Lao Men’s National Rugby Team. To do so, ‘we’ must train hard and listen to ‘our’ coaches.
This case studies gives us an idea of how parents and guardians of players participating in Pass It Back activities support and encourage their children to play. This support is integral to the implementation of the Pass It Back curriculum; without it, Pass It Back could not happen.
In this case study we can also see how one of our players has developed through his participation in Pass It Back activities, through rugby and life skills instruction and training, through playing tag rugby, and through various other activities. Through Boddy’s father’s eyes, we see how much his son has changed, to the point where he is now a coach, and is training his own team and his own players.
This case study is written by staff or Coaches supporting the Pass It Back program.
Pass It Back is an innovative Sport for Development program led by ChildFund in partnership with World Rugby, Asia Rugby and Women Win. The program aims to equip children and young people in Asia to overcome challenges, inspire positive social change and ‘pass it back’ to their communities.
Using Get Into Rugby, a World Rugby program to grow the Game globally, the program gets children and youth to Try, Play and Stay in the Game. It is a part of the Impact Beyond Rugby World Cup 2019 programme (‘Impact Beyond 2019’), which will increase awareness and sustainable growth of rugby in Asia.
Pass It Back delivers an integrated rugby and life skills curriculum in a safe environment that promotes the values of the Game and builds a new generation of leaders in disadvantaged communities across Asia.