Black Ferns Krystal Murray and Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate with female rugby enthusiasts after their ‘train and play’ game last week. 22112801.
Exposing more women and girls to rugby and hopefully inspire them to take up the sport was one of the drives for the ‘train and play’ rugby game held last week.
Black Ferns Krystal
Murray and Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, Cook Islands Rugby
Union, Evolutions Sports Rarotonga and the national women’s Under 18 coach
Harriet Tuara coordinated the programme.
It was hailed a success due to the number of women who
attended the programme held at Nukupure Park in Ngatangiia on Friday.
While on holiday, the Black Ferns also visited several
schools on the island to inspire the young ones to take up the sport.
Ngata-Aerengamate said the programme “wasn’t too
technical, we didn’t teach anyone anything other than catch n pass and the main
goal was to let them play, play rugby and have some fun”.
“We heard some girls didn’t want to do it at first but
ended up enjoying themselves.”
National women’s U18 coach Tuara recently returned
from the Grassroots to Global Rugby Forum and International Women’s Rugby Forum.
She also spent time with the Black Ferns.
“I feel privileged that they have given up a lot of
their time to give back to our community sharing their knowledge with our ladies
and girls in the schools, especially on the back of winning the Women’s Rugby
World Cup,” said Tuara.
“The highlight has been able to connect Krystal and
Tekura with our ladies here on the island.”
Tuara first met Ngata-Aerengamate in October during the
Cook Islands U18s Women’s Development tour in New Zealand.
“She was one of my coaching mentors there and was keen
to help us in any way to grow women’s rugby back home.”
From there the women collaborated on an itinerary that
would see the Black Ferns run clinics in schools and host an open day training
Evolution Sports Rarotonga’s Andrew Iroa said it was great
having the Black Ferns on the island.
“Especially for us trying to grow women in sport,”
said Iroa. “We need to train a training squad of girls to bring them through Evo
so that we can prepare them, so when they go to tournaments like the Pacific
Games next year, they are ready.”
President of Cook Islands Rugby Union, Simiona Teiotu
said it has been awesome to see the Black Ferns promoting the sport to local
girls and women.
“Especially in women’s rugby, Oceania and World Rugby
are investing a lot,” said Teiotu.
“I can see women’s rugby growing, domestically at the
grassroots, and the school programmes will boost more to play rugby.”
Discussions have been taking place between Evolution
Sports Rarotonga and CIRU on future training programmes for girls and women.