Australia, PHL rugby team score goals for gender, development

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In Photo: Ambassador Amanda Gorely and Deputy Head of Mission Mat Kimberley hands over grant of P1-million to the Philippine Rugby Football Union for sports and gender development to the youth.

THE Australian Embassy last week led a program handover ceremony to the Philippine Rugby Football Union (PRFU) as part of its International Women’s Day celebration.

Australian Amb. Amanda Gorely, together with PRFU Managing Director Matt Cullen, Senior Development Officer Rose Lanticse and athletes of the Lady Volcanoes, graced the event.

“Australia is pleased to support the PRFU in its ‘Touch Rugby: A Sport For All’ program, which encourages young men and women to get active in sports,” Gorely said.

The Australian government, through the Direct Aid Program, has allocated a grant of P1 million (A$26,750) to support PRFU in establishing a touch rugby team with equal male-female participation (16,000 boys and girls) all over 340 public elementary and high schools in Davao City to compete in touch rugby festivals.

“Gender equality is central to economic and human development and Australia is steadfast in its commitment to be at the forefront of efforts to promote the empowerment of girls globally and in our region, including through sports,” Gorely said.

“This grant to PRFU is part of Australia’s broader objective to promote sports for development and engage young people in communities to help them learn the value of leadership, teamwork, fair play and discipline at an early age. Australia has a remarkable international sporting pedigree and is recognized as a consistent, high-performing sporting nation,” she added.

“Through grants like this, Australia is able to leverage our sporting credentials to engage with our partners like the Philippines.  Promoting the universal values of sport help build trust between countries and bring people together,” Gorely pointed out.

The Australian Embassy’s Direct Aid Program provides funding of up to P2.8 million to support women’s initiatives and business activities. Since 2005, Australia has provided P21.5 million (A$584,000) to 54 women’s projects through the Direct Aid Program.