The Vanuatu Women 7s rugby team received financial boost of Vt200,000 from the Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat through the office of the Director General Ambassador Amena Yauvoli yesterday ahead of their participation at the 2019 Oceania Rugby 7s Championship.
It will be Vanuatu 7s women debut at the Championship which will also serve as an Olympic qualifier and will be held at the ANZ Stadium in Suva on November 7-9.
“I am glad to support the Vanuatu Women’s Rugby Sevens Team, which is consistent with the newly established Sports Programme of the MSG Secretariat for social inclusivity” said Ambassador Yauvoli.
“Sports when nurtured and supported well and more importantly when engaging our women’s participation will no doubt enhance and empower them to become better leaders and citizens as well as contributing towards the socio-economic development of Vanuatu.”
Receiving the cheque was Head of Vanuatu Women’s Rugby Annie Kalo and Ambassador Yauvoli further emphasized that it is not about financial assistance that is important, “but for us being able to support your willingness to be part of this regional competition to nurture your confidence and skills that matters,” he added.
This is not the first time the Secretariat had made contributions towards the development of sports in Vanuatu. Last year in 2018, the Secretariat donated a similar amount to support the Vanuatu Men’s Rugby Team.
The Secretariat has been emphasizing sports and recognizes that similar to culture, it is a tool for development as it acts like the glue that binds our people together and promotes people to people interaction and exchanges.
Yauvoli wished the Vanuatu Women’s Rugby Sevens team all the best in their preparations and participation at the tourney.
A total of 12 women’s team will compete at the championship, Australia, Cook Islands, Canada, Japan SDS, host Fijiana, Nauru, New Caledonia,PNG, New Zealand, Samoa, Solomon, Tonga and Vanuatu.
The 2019 Oceania Rugby Sevens Championships will be the twelfth edition of the Men’s event, seven edition of the Women’s event and the fifth time the two events have been combined.
The tournament which also serves as a regional qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, encourages equal opportunities for Women’s rugby and Deaf rugby across Oceania and beyond.
The Canadian Women’s team and the Japan SDS Men’s and Women’s team will feature in this year’s format including Oceania’s Vanuatu Women’s team, who will feature in their first international rugby outing.
The Oceania region boasts to contain the cream of the crop in regard to top performers in Rugby Sevens, including the current Olympic Gold Medalists Fiji (Men’s) and Australia (Women’s), current Commonwealth Games and RWC Sevens New Zealand (Men’s and Women’s) and reigning World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series Champions Fiji (Men’s) and New Zealand (Women’s).