Kenya Rugby Union and ChildFund Rugby sealed their Grassroots to Global Forum partnership today. The sports body and the child rights organisation will be working together to connect the country’s female grassroots rugby leaders to the global rugby community.
The launch of the partnership was overseen by Peris Mukoko, a director on the Kenya Rugby Union Board and Kenya Rugby Union Chairperson, Geoffrey Gangla. Mukoko is also a World Rugby Executive Scholarship recipient and is leading the Grassroots to Global initiative in the country joined by 20 women from across the country.
“By its very nature, sport encourages participation, bridging national, ethnic, and social divides. It is precisely for this reason that sport, when used as a tool for development, can serve as an impetus for social transformation and change,” said Mukoko. “With this, we are thrilled to announce the first African Forum of the Grassroots to Global series under the global theme ‘Women in Rugby Inspiring Change’”.
The Grassroots to Global series is an initiative supported by ChildFund Rugby, covering 16 countries across the globe to date, with more unions applying to host in the future. The series aims to generate actions addressing the challenges young women face in joining and staying involved in rugby. The Grassroots to Global women will be working together to tackle these challenges to achieve equity on and off the field and their discussions will inform global rugby leaders at a Grassroots to Global event in New Zealand in November, 2022.
By supporting groups of emerging female leaders in countries around the world, the series complements the World Rugby Executive Leadership Scholarship, a World Rugby program that identifies and supports the current and next generation of female leaders in rugby.
“Grassroots to Global helps broaden the reach of grassroots rugby leaders so that they can form strong national and international networks. It also ensures their voices reach decision makers at all levels of the game, supporting informed decision making at all levels of the game” said Megan Knight, ChildFund Rugby Global Programs and Partnerships Manager.
Mukoko added that initiatives like Grassroots to Global and Reconnect, a rugby and life skills curriculum supporting gender equity and leadership, are an important part of the legacy of major events including Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 in South Africa and Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand.
“The Grassroots to Global Series demonstrates how a combination of innovative partnerships and on-the-ground engagement of girls and women really can change the future of rugby and communities,” said Mukoko.