FORU Official Audits Samoa Rugby Union Women's Development Program
Samoa Rugby Union Media Release:
The equation is not simple for Manusina. They need to rule the FORU Women’s Regional Rugby Qualifiers in August this year, then feed into the Asian qualifiers in order to get a one out of three tickets to the Rugby World Cup 2013 in Russia. A tough and somewhat skewed pathway to get into the sixteen team draw of the RWC.
Amongst several series of local competitions and overseas tournaments, as lead up to the 7’s RWC is the inception of Women’s Rugby Program into the SRU-HPU License Training Centre that has successfully unleashed the potential in Samoan Rugby in the international front.
Last week, Oceania Regional Women’s Development Officer, Elenoa Kunatuba embarked on a mission to the Oceania Region Rugby Unions, to assess the development of women’s rugby focusing on their progress, structures, and budget.
It’s not the first time visit for Ms Kunatuba to Samoa. Four years ago she came not as an IRB representative but to participate in the World Cup Qualifier 2008 that saw Australia and New Zealand into the 2009 RWC as first and second in the world of women’s sevens.
“From that time I was here, there’s a big difference I have seen in Samoa Women’s Rugby” “Compared 2008 to now, I have seen the changes, women’s rugby is now well structured, last time Samoa did not have anything in place.” “I just hope from that time in 2008 gearing up to Rio, will be much more changes” says Kunatuba.
Like every sport, achieving a gold medal in the Olympics is the paramount dream. Realistically Women’s Rugby is going to the Olympics. Win or lose, the Women’s Rugby Union and the Samoa Rugby Union already have their eye on the bigger picture.
“I am quite impressed with the facility at Tuanaimato. The women’s LTC program particularly is one of its kind, we don’t have that program back home, and I am sure Fiji is going to follow the que from Samoa.”
Upon returning back home, Kunatuba has something to share to boost the development of women’s rugby in Samoa. “They need to have a development officer, I strongly recommend a development officer for women, and also from a coach point of view, and pacific women needs more practical on the field than theory. Practical comes first then theory.”
Financial support is not new, says Kunatuba, it’s every Union’s main concern, “and that’s why I am on this trip, its part of my job to see to it.”
President of the Samoa Women’s Rugby Union, Toleafoa Ulugia Mara Hunter says “Having Elenoa here as a neutral fresh pair of eyes is refreshing. Her comments both positive and not-so-positive give opportunity for change and improvement. We are pleased to have her wealth of experience available to Samoa Women’s Development and the SRU.”