Rugby competition seen to develop sports in Negocc
NON-GOVERNMENT organization Childfund, in collaboration with the Philippine Rugby Football Union (PRFU), is hosting a midseason competition positioned to further develop sports in Negros Occidental especially among the youth.
PRFU Development Manager Acee San Juan, in a press conference at Carlos Hilado Memorial State College (CHMSC) in Talisay City yesterday, said the development of sports in the grass roots is part of the organization’s program.
Dubbed “Childfund Pass It Back,” the one-day tournament will be held at CHMSC today, May 11.
It will gather at least 500 Negrense young male and female players with 21 coaches from cities of Bacolod and Talisay, and E.B. Magalona town.
The collaboration has come together under
Childfund’s Pass it Back program, which promotes the right to play in communities where children have little or no access to organised sport.
Using a fully integrated rugby and life-skills curriculum, it does not only supports young people’s health and wellbeing.
It also provides important learning opportunities around leadership, life skills and gender equality to help them overcome challenges, inspire positive change and “pass it back” to their communities.
San Juan said “Childfund Pass It Back” is an innovative development program using the sport, which is rugby, as the tool. It focuses on the sport’s values including integrity, passion, discipline, respect and solidarity. “We are again bringing the event here mainly to give opportunities especially to the less fortunate youth in the community,” she said, adding that “we have been going to schools and barangays to encourage out-of-school youth and students to appreciate rugby, this time, as non-contact sports.”
This will be the program’s second time to host a rugby competition in the province since the pilot program in 2017.
For this year, 36 teams of 10 to 15 members each will compete. Of which, 22 are girls and 14 boys.
In terms of age group, 19 teams are competing for Under 13 category and 17 teams for Under 16 category.
Cookie Derecho, project officer, said Childfund and PRFU want to develop more because there are many other kids in the three localities whose interests are very high towards the program.
Derecho said the program has modified the sport called “tag rugby” to further promote sportsmanship and uphold character development among Negrense youth.
“We hope to strengthen awareness of the youth on sports, specifically rugby, as a tool for their development,” she said, adding that “through sports, we could prevent the youth from engaging in illegal activities like drugs.”
Meanwhile, the collaboration is supported by the Australian Government’s aid program through its Asia Sports Partnerships initiative, which was established to foster links between Australia and Asia that promote community health, disability inclusion, gender equality and social cohesion.
PRFU Secretary General Ada Milby, in a statement, said the organization is happy to see the return of the Childfund Pass It Back program in Negros.
“We had a number of coaches return from the pilot and some of the players became coaches, which speaks to the impact this program on the lives of those who joined,” she added.*