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.
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