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First ever Get Into Rugby Festival in the Solomon Islands

Mon, 16/12/2019, 04:00 am
Oceania Rugby
by Oceania Rugby
Some of the participants that were part of the first ever GIR Festival Solomon Island
Some of the participants that were part of the first ever GIR Festival Solomon Island

The inaugural Get into Rugby (GIR) National Tag Festival saw more than 200 girls and boys converge at the Town Ground Rugby Stadium in Honiara in the Solomon Islands, last week from Wednesday 11 to Thursday 12 December 2019.

The Get into Rugby program, supported by the Australian Government, is part of the World Rugby strategy to grow the Game globally in partnership with member Regions and Unions.

Speaking at the launch last week Tuesday, Solomon Islands Rugby Union Federation (SIRUF) Vice President International (VPI) Adrian Tuhanuku said that the program had great importance in creating pathways for young girls and boys in the Solomon Islands.

“We have a big opportunity to harness the zeal and energy amongst young people and teach them from a young age,” Tuhanuku said.

Australian High Commission Second Secretary to the Solomon Islands Sam Donney said Australia Government was committed to the initiative in partnership with the Solomon Islands Rugby Union Federation (SIRUF) and Oceania Rugby.

“The Australian Government is privileged to work with positive partners such as SIRUF, Oceania Rugby, and Rugby Australia to deliver the Get into Rugby Plus program,” Donney said.

“The real intensity of the program is in supporting communities and people by sharing the positive values of Rugby,” he added.

SIRUF Chief Executive Officer Alivereti Mocelutu said it was an exciting time for the growth of Rugby in the Solomon Islands also identifying potential players through age groups.

“We have seen how well both our men’s and women’s team have performed in the recent Oceania Rugby 7s tournament and we would like to build on that,” Mocelutu said.

“We are building better platforms for the future,” he added.

The Get into Rugby Program is a central part of the World Rugby strategy to grow the Game globally in partnership with our member regions and Unions.

The aim of the program is to encourage players of all ages to TRY, PLAY and STAY in Rugby. Get into Rugby will promote the values of the Game and ensure children are encouraged to try Rugby in a safe and progressive environment.

Reaching new territories and expanding its global reach, World Rugby’s development program Get into Rugby has been a major catalyst behind the global rise in participation numbers, acting as a gateway for young people to try, play and stay in rugby.

In 2018, more than two million (2,820,200) girls and boys across 122 active unions took part in the program.

The GIR Festival in Honiara was launched on Tuesday 10, tag festival held on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 December, where more than 200 girls and boys between the ages of 9 to 17 years attended.

The participants came from the Eastern and Western parts of the Guadalcanal and converged at the Town Ground Rugby field in Honiara.

The interest so has been unprecedented given the intention to hold the festivals every six months.

SIRUF is currently at work with other associations in hosting the festival within their respective provinces in 2020.

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