Empower young people through sport.
Through observance of rigorous child protection policies Little Dragons Rugby fosters an inclusive environment and safe spaces for disadvantaged young people to participate in sporting activities to keep them active and learn valuable transferrable skills and life skills to prepare them for the world of work and adulthood. The more children who undergo the program the more health conscious and upskilled adults they will become and be able to be agents of change in Burmese society.
Promote gender equality.
Little Dragons Rugby ensures equal participation of boys and girls in all activities to promote the values of gender equality. Data on gender equality and gender-based violence are limited, however, by educating girls and boys together we can instil positive values from a young age and make a positive impact on society internally from the bottom up. Misogyny and out-dated attitudes still prevail in Burmese society. Through workshops and activities we expect to reshape young peoples’ outlooks and ensure that 100 not just 50% of young people can compete in a rapidly changing economic landscape.
Prepare young adults for the world of work.
Little Dragons Rugby trains local coaches to deliver sessions independently and will expand the scope of the project from the two sites in the north of Yangon, across Yangon and eventually nationwide. Coaches will become role models and act as peer educators sourcing new coaches from the groups they work with to promote sustainability and cost-effectiveness. This will empower them and give them opportunities to practice and hone time management, motivation, business development and leadership skills. The more young adults from poor backgrounds who get experience in these skill sets the higher the chance of social mobility and better job prospects.
Foster grass roots interest in Rugby.
Eventually we hope to convert the groups we are working with into de facto rugby clubs and start to involve parents in the running of the clubs to foster community engagement. Once we have enough clubs we will organise a regular competition/league amongst the teams that will involve post match dinners and activities to nurture the social aspect apparent in rugby culture. This aims to bring together communities that don’t normally interact with each other. The more intersectional interest we can generate in the game the easier it will be to justify a federation and more investment in the game.
Main photo: Teza Hlaing/Frontier