The announcement of the partnership between ChildFund and World Rugby for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 was an important milestone making ChildFund Rugby the first-ever Principal Charity for a Rugby World Cup Sevens, but most importantly, it built on the more than 50,000 children that have benefitted globally from the partnership’s work. 

Many of those set to benefit will be in South Africa, as the host of the RWC Sevens 2022, and throughout Africa as all of the funds raised through the partnership will be invested into expanding rugby for social impact partnerships beyond the weekend of the Sevens in Cape Town.

The partnership means ChildFund Rugby is able to continue to build on its development reach and evidenced rugby for social impact as a partner for the third successive Rugby World Cup across all formats of the game.

Rugby and life skills learning In Africa uses the Reconnect curriculum to encourage children and young people to both play and coach rugby, and learn key life skills such as how to support gender equity, as well as setting and achieving goals, which is an important factor in positive well-being.

In the period from March to June 2022, Reconnect South Africa and Reconnect Malawi supported children to learn rugby and life skills:

  • This resulted in 70 rugby teams with more than 1000 players – of which 50% were female in South Africa. Importantly, 40 coaches (half of which were also female) were also trained to deliver 440 rugby and life skills learning sessions.
  • In Malawi, this resulted in 30 rugby teams of more than 400 players – of which 48% were female. Twenty coaches (half of which were female) were also trained to deliver 360 rugby and life skill learning sessions.

The impact of curriculum learning was measured in three key areas:

  1. Understanding Gender Equality (addressing the root causes of violence against girls and women) -60% of players improved their knowledge.
  2. Goal-Setting (critical for positive well-being among children) –  indicated that more than 90% of players set goals, with many wanting to become professional rugby players or coaches.
  3. Sport Learning (key to ensuring long-term player retention) – indicated that 90% of participants demonstrated improved sports skills.

For a first step on the African continent and with the support of the rugby family in South Africa and beyond, the course has been set to ensure a growing and lasting Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 legacy – and more children will be given the opportunity to play, learn and lead through rugby.

ChildFund Rugby has proven to and continues to embrace the key values of the sport so many love, through event legacy that encourages solidarity, integrity and respect, and through its actions is developing a wave of new rugby players, coaches and impact that should last for generations.