JAPAN, 29 JUNE 2018: Young rugby coaches and players from Laos, Vietnam and Philippines will be visiting Japan on 27 June-2 July to take part in the RKU ChildFund Pass It Back Cup.

Hosted in Ryugasaki, Ibaraki by Asia Rugby and Ryutsu Keizai University, this is one of many lead-up events to the Rugby World Cup 2019 which will take place in Japan, the first world cup tournament to be held in Asia.

Under the banner of the South-East Asian (SEA) Dragons, youth from Laos, Vietnam and Philippines will join Japanese students from Atago Junior High School to take part in a rugby competition where they will not only improve their tag rugby skills through coaching and playing, but benefit from ChildFund Pass It Back’s innovative life skills learning program.

“Asia Rugby is excited to be hosting this event in recognition of the work ChildFund Pass It Back has undertaken through our partnership to build male and female leaders through rugby, both on and off the pitch,” says Aga Hussain, Asia Rugby President.

Asia Rugby Executive Council Member and World Rugby Council Member Ada Milby adds: “I’m so pleased to see this event happen in Japan, the host country of Rugby World Cup 2019 and Olympics 2020, both of which will see rugby played at the highest level, inspiring boys and girls across the region to take up the sport and live our sport’s values both on and off the pitch.”

Australian Ambassador to Japan Richard Court AC has also welcomed the visit: “Sport is one of the most effective tools for building bridges between young people across the Indo-Pacific region.

“It is wonderful to see children from Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines traveling to Japan with the ChildFund Pass It Back program. The Australian Government is proud to support this initiative, which will help pass the spirit of the Rugby World Cup 2019 onto the next generation of players.”

ChildFund Pass It Back is an innovative Sport for Development program led by ChildFund in partnership with World Rugby, Asia Rugby and Women Win. Through delivering an integrated life skills and rugby curriculum, the program equips young people across Asia to overcome challenges, inspire positive social change and “pass it back” to their communities.

To date, more than 7,000 children and youth from Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines have benefitted from participation in the program; more than a half of them female.

“We believe this is a great opportunity for us to tell Japan what ChildFund Pass It Back is and how it benefits children and young people through rugby in our communities.” said Thieu Bui Van, a coach from Kim Boi, Vietnam.

“The program has been changing our lives – it creates a safe and healthy environment for us not only to play the game but also to learn essential life skills and to reach our potentials no matter who we are, male or female. We want to show the world all those wonderful things. Our players can not wait to ‘pass it back’ to their Japanese peers.”

Media enquiries: Larissa Tuohy
Email: ltuohy@childfund.org.au

Tel: +61 437 337 118