The meteoric rise of women’s rugby, culminating in the gold medal for Australia at the Rio Olympics, has attracted fresh interest in the game. For smaller, less developed countries like Solomon Islands, it’s an opportunity. Women are now the great hope of many rugby nations seeking success.
Ethnic differences can be a barrier in Solomon Islands. But it’s a barrier the team environment of rugby can break through. Women from different communities and cultures are on the national rugby sevens squad, and they all come together like a family on the field. Professional training and quality coaching shows this is a serious endeavour, one which both develops talent, fosters community spirit and improves wellbeing.
These women are tackling tired traditions of ethnic division with the help of Australian aid. Through the $29 million Pacific Sports Partnerships, Australia is supporting a range of activities that provide a fun and safe space for communities to heal, address risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases, and break down barriers experienced by women, girls and people living with disability.
Solomons sevens sisterhood tackling tired traditions