The Solomon Islands has held its inaugural Get Into Rugby (GIR) tag rugby festival with more than 200 girls and boys, between the ages of 9 and 17, converging at the Town Ground Rugby Stadium in Honiara.
The festival came about as a result of a partnership between the Solomon Islands Rugby Union Federation (SIRUF) and the Australian government and is designed to create a pathway for young girls and boys to experience and enjoy the game.
“We have a big opportunity to harness the zeal and energy amongst young people and teach them from a young age,” said the SIRUF Vice-President International Adrian Tuhanuku.
Platforms for the future
SIRUF Chief Executive Officer Alivereti Mocelutu added it was an exciting time for the growth of rugby in the Solomon Islands.
“We have seen how well both our men’s and women’s team have performed in the recent Oceania rugby sevens tournament and we would like to build on that,” he said. “We are building better platforms for the future.”
The Solomon Islands women’s national team finished sixth of 12 teams at the Oceania Rugby Sevens Championships in Suva last month, while the men’s team ended up in eighth place in the 15-team line-up
Reaching new territories and expanding its global reach, World Rugby’s Get Into Rugby programme has been a major catalyst behind the global rise in participation numbers, acting as a gateway for young people to try, play and stay in the game.
In 2018, more than two million (2,820,200) girls and boys across 122 active unions took part in some form of GIR activity.
Following on the success of this year’s venture, the intention of the SIRUF is to make the event twice-yearly.
The SIRUF is also currently at work with other associations about hosting the festival within their respective provinces in 2020.
Photo: SIRUF Media