One of the key reasons ChildFund Rugby and World Rugby entered into a partnership for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 was to create a lasting and meaningful social impact legacy in South Africa, across the region, and beyond continental borders. 

ChildFund Rugby has worked with more than 40 sports partners globally, initially across Asia and then to Oceania, but in 2022, expansion into Africa is yet another key marker as the world’s rugby fans turn their attention to Cape Town for the women’s and men’s sevens rugby world champions.

ChildFund Rugby has many reasons to be a proud Principal Charity for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 and has a proven global track record which is already creating a positively impacted generation of young rugby players and leaders in Africa. 

Working with the South African Rugby Union as part of ChildFund Rugby’s appointment as Principal Charity of RWC 7s 2022 was a launching pad in Africa. The curriculum has also moved into Malawi, and those who benefit are from vulnerable communities that can inspire positive social change which has lasting impacts.

Coach Natasha from Malawi has expressed her belief in the impactful work being done in empowering young girls and coaches: “Coaches have a huge role. I believe that we should be a good example for young girls. Coaches should be role models and we should demonstrate positive behaviours. It is also our role to work towards gender equality, to showcase good leadership skills, and build teamwork among all the players so that they can learn from us and create the changes they want in their lives.” 

ChildFund Rugby has managed to achieve great success by delivering learning that builds a range of values aligned with rugby while working with rugby partners in various parts of the globe. 

The latest addition is the Kenya Rugby Union which signed a Grassroots to Global Forum partnership with ChildFund Rugby in 2022, which aims to connect the nation’s female grassroots rugby leaders to the global rugby community.

Grassroots to Global will bring together community-level women leaders in rugby and put a magnifying glass on barriers and enablers to long-term participation, as well as identifying strategies to bring more girls and women into the rugby community, and importantly – ensure they stay.

As a result of the benefits of the curriculum implemented in new markets in Africa, female community rugby leaders will be heading to a women’s leadership forum in New Zealand in November as part of the RWC 2021 (played in 2022). 

This is yet another indication of how innovative partnerships, utilising an evidenced model for social impact, and on-the-ground engagement of girls and women really can positively impact and change the future of rugby and communities around the world.