The Fiji Rugby Union Development Unit is financially supported by World Rugby through its Trust Development Investment to Unions.
As for Fiji, this plays a major role in trying to assist our players achieve their rugby dreams. From Kaji to the Flying Fijians, we all have a dream of what we want to become on the field.
The Development Unit is focused on 3 key Strategic Areas.
Participation is a key strategic area for rugby to grow in Fiji. We only have 56% of our schools that are currently involved in rugby. This is almost shocking news to a rugby loving nation such as ours. The Get into Rugby program (GiR) is an initiative by World Rugby to increase participation amongst our young people. This program was launched on the 21st of April 2014 and is now being enjoyed by over 100 schools and over 5000 kids have taken up or have been introduced to rugby in 2014 alone. We are looking to increase these numbers in 2015.
TRAINING & EDUCATION
This remains one of our key areas that needs a big technical injection. Technical expertise remains a very important part of our coaching make up. We are rugby lovers, but sad to say, our technical knowledge is nowhere near world standards. This is one of the Units biggest challenges and how to get our coaches to be up to date with coaching methods remains an elusive dream. However, we are churning out players that perform and dazzle on the world rugby stage. Whether playing for Fiji or for other nations, Fijians love to play and the million dollar question is how come? Most of our players ply their trade in Europe and are exposed to this professional environment. The challenge for our local staff is to bring that professional environment home. This requires a lot of time and commitment from coaches.
One of the Millennium Development Goals (3) was to promote gender equality and empower women. Fiji Rugby Union is promoting rugby amongst our women. Our Fijiana Sevens Team is currently one of the core teams in the Womens Sevens Circuit. On the ground, introducing rugby to girls can be a very difficult exercise as rugby is seen as a male dominated sport. Our women follow rugby and can be very critical at times. The Development Unit is working to introduce rugby to girls through our Development Officers who are based at our 5 regions.