The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) recently hosted Australia Awards fellows from the PNG and Tonga Rugby Union associations. Through a series of placements across the ARU, the fellows undertook a program of theory, practice and mentoring. Key areas of focus were:
- governance and administration;
- Rugby at the participation level;
- training & education;
- competitions and tournaments; and
- women's Rugby.
With two key aid priorities in the region being health and gender equality, fostering more inclusive sports practice is important aspect of the Australian Government’s Sport for Development work.
The ARU Fellowship was designed to strengthen social inclusion for both women and girls and people with a disability. Whilst there is already an increase in the number of women and girls playing Rugby in Samoa, Tonga and PNG, skills learnt by the fellows in the will allow for further increases in both the number of women playing, as well as moving into other areas of the game.
The Fellows were also exposed to numerous ways people with a disability can participate in Rugby in both levels of the game and in varying positions.