The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) hosted the inaugural Grassroots to Global Workshop this past weekend in Nairobi.
The Workshop, held in collaboration with ChildFund Rugby attracted 17 participants, all of them women involved in rugby in different capacities ranging from players to match officials and medics.
Speaking at the close of the workshop, KRU Director of Women’s Rugby, Peris Mukoko, who was also one of the facilitators said, “It has been a wonderful experience. Through this program under the theme women inspiring change, it has been wonderful to see the impact this workshop has had on the participants.”
“From the beginning we had an overwhelming number of applicants, so narrowing it down from 31 to 17 was quite challenging. I am hopeful because the girls are full of hope and inspiration and they are ready to go ahead and take that step to better themselves.”
Oduor Gangla, the KRU Chairman, said, “It has been a very eye-opening workshop, bringing together the women leadership in the game from various parts of the country. I managed to sit through the afternoon session today (Saturday), there was great passion, great commitment, a lot of good ideas and also just relating to a very humbling journey that the girls have gone through.”
“They counted a lot of challenges they’ve face and for me they are all victors for being able to emerge against historical discrimination that has always faced women’s rugby. I am very proud of them, they showed great progress and I think they are all fired up to make a big difference back in the community. We must continue these kind of initiatives. I really do appreciate the support from ChildFund Rugby to be able to sponsor this event.”
“There is a greater need to ensure that women are at the table at all times, and we need to more conscious in how we organize our activities as Kenya Rugby so that the women’s and men’s game are on equal footing.”
Grace Kiraguri, a champion for women empowerment programs who also facilitated the workshop said, “This program entailed us as women in sports helping them to identify the barriers and obstacles that they face through their rugby journey. We took them through a journey to empower them to be who they want to be in the game of rugby, and in the world of sports but they will face obstacles and barriers. We do have other enablers that can champion them to become who they want to be in rugby and propel the game from the grassroots to the global stage.”
The workshop was also graced by the presence of leading sports personality Carol Radull.
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.