The ‘Pass It Back’ Cup brought young female rugby players from disadvantaged communities in Asia to Belfast to play girls from across Ulster. The initiative was supported by the Irish Rugby Football Union, World Rugby, the Wallaroos and ChildFund ‘Pass It Back’, giving the girls the opportunity to visit Ireland and take part in an international rugby competition.
‘Pass It Back’ is an innovative Sport for Development programme – led by ChildFund in partnership with World Rugby, Asia Rugby and Women Win – that delivers an integrated life skills and rugby curriculum for children and young people in disadvantaged communities across Asia.
Earlier this week girls from Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines took part in the ChildFund Pass It Back Belfast Cup at Belfast Harlequins RFC, competing against girls from across Ulster with a helping hand from some of the Wallaroos team on the day.
The teams were joined on the day by some of the Australian Women’s team – the Wallaroos – who helped to coach the girls and lend a truly international flavour to the participation Tag rugby event.
Louise Burrows, a member of the Wallaroos and a teacher, found the whole day inspiring, saying: “This is such an amazing opportunity for these girls. For a lot of them, this is the first time that anyone from their community has travelled out from their community, at all, let alone their country.
“So for them to have that opportunity to develop their leadership skills, teamwork and to have another opportunity to play rugby in another country is truly amazing.”
Chris Mastaglio, Director of ChildFund Pass It Back, said: “Working in partnership with the IRFU and World Rugby, we decided to hold this event in the lead up to the Women’s Rugby Cup final to show that women and girls’ rugby is developing across the world – from international players at the event, to grassroots players from countries like Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines.”
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