Oceania Rugby in partnership with Fiji Rugby is currently running a one-week training for Get Into Rugby Plus (GIR PLUS) coaches at Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi. Twenty coaches, 13 females and 7 males are now being trained to enable them to deliver this unique sport for development program in Fiji.
At the end of the one-week training these coaches should be able to deliver programs in a safe, positive, dynamic and fun sporting experience through tag rugby and impactful life skill learning. The program is designed to shift attitudes and beliefs around gender, power, violence and respectful relationships, to challenge gender stereotypes, contribute to reducing violence against women and girls.
This is the fourth time training as such has been conducted since the implementation of the program in 2018. Oceania Rugby with the assistance from its partners Fiji Rugby Union, UN Women and ChildFund for Development has trained 33 coaches who are delivering GIR PLUS in 17 primary schools, nine in the central eastern and 8 in the west, targeting 10-14 year old boys and girls.
“Rugby is founded on the values of respect, integrity, passion, solidarity and discipline. It is very important for our society and for all our stakeholders to live by these values not only for the growth of the game, but also for those who are part of the game. Having these foundations set from an early age will benefit not only our players but our communities as well,” said Fiji Rugby Chief Executive John O’Connor.
Through the program, Fiji Rugby has seen changes in the attitudes and behaviors of girls and boys and coaches toward gender equality and violence, and a tremendous increase in female coaches, empowered and confident to challenge the social norm where rugby is perceived to be a male dominated sport.
GIR PLUS is a sport-for-development initiative implemented by partners Oceania Rugby, Fiji Rugby Union, UN Women and ChildFund Rugby for Develoment. The program is supported by Australian Aid through Team Up; UN Women through the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls (Pacific Partnership), primarily funded by the European Union, and the Governments of Australia and New Zealand, and UN Women; and ChildFund Rugby for Development.