SUVA, (FIJI TIMES) – The Telecom Fijiana’s qualification for the Rio Olympics will have a positive impact on the growth of women’s rugby in the region.
That’s the view of Kylie Bates who is the development consultant and director of Game Changers an Australian based company which uses partnerships to make sport and communities stronger.
Bates is one of the presenters at Oceania Rugby’s Superweek which is a workshop underway at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi for the regional stakeholders.
She said Fiji was leading the way with the Fijiana being the first to represent the Pacific Islands at the Rio Olympics.
“It is huge feat and the entire Pacific will get behind them and really excited to see how they do. It is flowing down the whole Pacific. All the Pacific Islands are motivated by what they can potentially do as well.”
Bates said one of the biggest priorities for Oceania Rugby was the evolution of the women’s game.
“We are very interested in finding out what women want to have as their sport,” she said.
“Finding out what their barriers and motivations are. Figuring out ways to design the game so we can really help pave the way for women into rugby.”
Bates said one way to increase participation was by going to places where women were naturally gathering.
“Rather than making women come to the rugby field, what we would like to do is to take rugby where women are already coming together.
“We can do that through partnership with organisations such as teachers colleges and schools. Rugby is open to business when it comes to partnership.
“Second thing we would to do is to decrease the barriers to participation.
“The next step is to use that profile to increase the participation in the women’s game. After we increase the participation then anything is possible.
“Rugby is a sport for generations and what we would like to see is family participation.