Philippine national girls Rugby team are on their final preparations for the upcoming Asian Qualifiers for the 2018 Youth Olympics. The tournament will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Nov 29-30.
This will be the first time that the Philippines will send a U17 national girls team. The Philippines has been drawn in Pool C together with Hong Kong and Sri Lanka.
The tournament will feature 12 nations across Asia vying for one qualifying spot for the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in October, 2018.
“Being the first ever national age-grade female team is a remarkable achievement for our sport and the girls. The players shall be the benchmark in the development for the future female rugby talents who will join the national team ranks” shared Head Coach Madille Salinas.
“It's a step in the right direction for Philippine Rugby, these young girls will have the opportunity of a lifetime to not only represent their country on the world stage for the first time, but to be the first athletes to state their case for the upcoming 2019 SEA Games. Women’s rugby is growing in the Philippines, in Asia and across the World. It’s great for the game” shared Jake Letts, acting Director for Philippine Rugby.
The players are products of the Get Into Rugby schools program, a program designed to grow Rugby in the Philippines and across Asia. The PRFU, with the help Asia Rugby and the Philippine Sports Commission have committed to train and develop coaches to help achieve the goal of reaching 15,000 new players each year leading to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The timing for the tournament is ideal, as Ada Milby, Secretary General for the PRFU and Asia Rugby Exco Member, was voted in to represent Asia on the World Rugby Council, a first time in history for the game, as World Rugby (International Federation) have announced the inclusion of 17 women to be represented on the council. Rugby is committed to achieve the International Olympic Committee’s target of a minimum of 30% representation for women across all levels of governance.
The girls kick off day one tomorrow and will face Sri Lanka at 12:44pm in their opening match and Hong Kong at 3:00pm to round off the pool games. The finals will be decided by the ranking of each team in their respective pools to be played on Thursday, 30th November.
The Singapore Skyllas Rugby Club will travel to the Philippines for the annual Transcom International Development Series. The International Development Series takes place this Saturday November 25th, at Southern Plains Sports Field, Canlubang, Laguna.
The match will be hosted by Philippine Rugby and will be the third year for the event.
This year, the Singapore Bedoks as they are more commonly known, will be sending two teams to face the Philippines National Development teams, a team composed of players form different regions in Metro Manila, Davao, General Santos and Cebu.
The development matches have seen victories from both teams, Singapore winning in 2014, and the Philippines winning in 2016. Women’s rugby is fast growing in Asia which serves the main purpose of this development series.
“Im very excited about the upcoming games. The girls have been working hard for the last five weeks and are coming together really well. We have a lot of pace and power across the squad and if we can function well as a team and nail our core roles in the contact area then I think the ladies will get the result they are looking for” said Christopher Arpon Bird, Head Coach.
Bird is also a current Men’s National Player, playing for the Philippine Volcanoes. Rassiel Sales, who’s has played in the last two series shared “This series is more exciting with the entry of our new players who are displaying passion, commitment and hard work. It has gotten all of us even more pumped up for the coming games”
Kick off will be at 1:30pm for the Women’s B Match. The main game will be 3:00pm for the A match. Entry is free.
Asia Rugby (AR) made history by being the first of World Rugby (WR) Regional Associations to support WR Gender Balance policy. Milby was unanimously appointed by AR Executive Committee to be the Regional Association’s first ever female representative to the World Rugby council. Milby is also the Secretary General of the Philippine Rugby Football Union.
World Rugby is the international governing body for the sport of Rugby Union and is one of the leading sporting federations that supports a Gender Balance policy across all levels of governance.
Milby made her international rugby debut in 2012, and was selected as the Team Captain for the National Womens Rugby Team the Lady Volcanoes later that year. She served as the Head of Development for grassroots rugby in 2013, launching the Get Into Rugby program in the same year and was later nominated for the Philippine Rugby Board of Directors. Since 2013, Milby has continued to make waves across Philippine Rugby and Asia Rugby, she is now looking to represent not only gender equality, but Philippine Rugby on the global stage.
“I’m so honored and humbled to be the first woman council member appointed for World Rugby Council following the strong support for Gender Inclusion at the highest level. Not only does it create the space for more women leadership to be accepted at all levels of the Game for Rugby but it is a strong statement and call to action for other sporting codes to show that when you are fully committed to Gender Inclusion, the solutions may manifest in ways not previously considered. I applaud World Rugby and its commitment to continue building a Game that is truly a ‘Sport For All’” Milby shared.
World Rugby will appoint 16 more women to be filled following their decision to promote the International Olympic Committee’s target of a minimum
30% representation by women across all levels of governance.
Rugby in Asia is on the rise, as Japan prepare to host not only the Rugby World Cup in 2019 but also the 2020 Olympic Games. Rugby 7s was re-included in 2016 which saw Fiji secure their first ever medal at the Olympics.
“Rugby continues to grow on a global scale, its great to see the code promoted even more now in the Asia Region. To now have Ada, representing Asia Rugby on the World Rugby Council for gender equality and represent the Philippines, shows how far the game has come. Ada has made tremendous strides for Philippine Rugby, as a player, Board member and most of all promoting Women’s Rugby in the Philippines. Her recent development in helping launch the Pass It Back program also in 2017 was yet another first for the Philippines, she’s also inspiring younger girls to take up the sport and represent on a national level ” shared Jake Letts, acting Director for Philippine Rugby.
The timing of the announcement is ideal as the Philippines prepares to send its first ever U17 Girls Team to the Youth Olympic Qualifiers in Dubai next week.
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