Rugby com­pe­ti­tion seen to de­velop sports in Ne­gocc

Sun Star Bacolod - - Prime Sports - BY ERWIN P. NICAVERA

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.*

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