Supporting young leaders to Pass It Back in their communities

4 April 2017

ChildFund Pass It Back is a successful and innovative Sport for Development program that uses rugby to equip children and young people in disadvantaged communities in Asia to overcome challenges, inspire positive social change and ‘pass it back’ to their communities.

Delivering an integrated life skills and rugby curriculum, ChildFund Pass It Back has been extremely successful in growing the game in areas where there is very low to zero rugby awareness, achieving demonstrable individual and community change in disadvantaged communities. To date, more than 3,500 children and youth in some of the poorest communities in Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines have benefited from participation in the program.

Using a fully integrated rugby and life skills curriculum, ChildFund Pass It Back not only promotes the right to play in communities where children have little or no access to sports and recreation activities, but gives participants important learning opportunities around leadership, gender equity, conflict-resolution and planning for the future.

“Sport brings people together. It can build knowledge, skills and attitudes that are transferable into everyday life. We have seen in Nonghet the power of sport to support the development of future Lao leaders who are able to contribute to national development and support Laos’ goal of graduation from Least Developed Country status by 2020,” states Chris Mastaglio, Director, ChildFund Pass It Back.

Participation in team sports helps children build the necessary leadership and resilience needed to thrive in a changing world. The knowledge, skills and attitudes built through this program will support young people to be strong citizens within their countries and beyond.

“As a girl I was always very shy, now I am a brave and confident young woman. I want to help involve as many girls and women from rural and remote communities as possible in rugby so they, too, can feel brave and strong,” says Lao Kang, who joined Pass It Back as a player, and is now a Youth Leader and Coach, and works for the Lao Rugby Federation.

Pass It Back is led by ChildFund Australia and is funded through Australian Aid from the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).  

In 2015-16 through the ANCP, Australian Aid supported 12 NGOs to deliver 16 projects in 10 countries focusing on basic life skills for youth and adults.


Young women on a football field, with an Australian Aid banner in the background
Young people from Laos and Vietnam came together to play rugby in the ChildFund Pass It Back Cup in Kim Boi District, Vietnam. Photo credit: ChildFund.


Last Updated: 4 April 2017