The Lao Rugby Federation (LRF) has finished its third season of delivering the Pass It Back rugby and life skills curriculum to over 1,500 young people across the country.
The Pass It Back rugby and life skills curriculum is in partnership with World Rugby, Asia Rugby, ChildFund Australia and Women Win, LRF Rugby Development Manager Pisa Vongdeunpheng said at a press conference in Vientiane Capital on June19.
Under the banner of Champa Ban Little Blossoms Rugby, the Lao Rugby Federation has been drawing international attention over the past few years for their successful model of getting more Lao girls and boys playing rugby, realizing the health and social benefits of playing a team sport.
The LRF, registered with the Elite Sport Department of the Ministry of Education and Sports, was formed in 2001 and their successes have led to global recognition, with the federation receiving the prestigious Asia Rugby Women’s Development Award in 2014 as well as one of their coaches receiving the Athletes in Excellence Award from the Foundation for Global Sport Development � one of only 18 global awards, which included 13 Olympic athletes, Ms Lao Khang was the first Lao athlete ever to receive this award.
The LRF, spurred on by these achievements, set their sights on demonstrating their development model on the international stage. This resulted in 4 international organisations, including World Rugby and the Global Federation for the Sport of Rugby, coming together to develop a rugby and life skills curriculum to be used across Asia based on Laos’ experiences over the last 6 years.
The curriculum is called Pass It Back, an innovative Sport for Development program which uses rugby to equip children and young people in Asia to overcome challenges, inspire positive social change and pass it back to their communities. Using an integrated rugby and life skills curriculum, and with a strong focus on gender equity, Pass It Back is giving thousands of young people from disadvantaged communities in Asia the opportunity to take part in organised sport, often for the first time.
With funding support from the Australian Government and led by ChildFund in partnership with World Rugby, Asia Rugby, Child Fund Japan and Women win, the curriculum is a key component of World Rugby’s IMPACT Beyond 2019 program.
IMPACT Beyond is a major strategy in World Rugby’s mission that aims to sustainably grow the sport across Asia as part of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.
Because of the successes of implementation in Laos, the curriculum is now being used with guidance from key Lao Rugby Federation staff and coaches in Vietnam and the Philippines. Pass It Back was nominated for two prestigious Beyond Sport awards because of the exciting results from the first few seasons of the curriculum.
A recent external evaluation of the first three seasons of implementing Pass it back to more than 1,000 players in Laos and more than 700 in Vietnam found that, its product and processes are amongst some of the best in the world for connecting sport and development outcomes.
Pass lt Back is now included in the 2017 and 2019 Rugby World Cup Impact Beyond pillars and the LRF will be sending 5 young players and 1 coach to join the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland in August. These LRF participants will be joining Pass It Back players and coaches from Vietnam and the Philippines as the South-East Asian Dragon. They will complete with girl teams from across Belfast in a tag rugby event, the Pass It Back Cup 2017 Belfast, at Belfast Harlequins RFC on 21st August, the day before the Women’s Rugby World Cup Semi-Finals.
Source: Lao News Agency