From the founder... ADEDAR history to the future!
I began ADEDAR with the idea of bringing two of my favorite things together, rugby and Mozambique along with a huge passion of mine, fighting for gender equality. I did Peace Corps in Moz in 2010 to 2012. When I got back to the states, I worked on the plans to make ADEDAR come true. In 2015, it happened. I did a trial run of rugby in Mozambique, found Mozambicans liked it, so I moved there in December of 2015 and ADEDAR began.
For the last four years, I have been living in Mozambique full time, entering schools, introducing rugby, developing coaches to take over teams, running clinics and tournaments, and pushing for more female involvement. I currently just moved away from Mozambique and only will go back for 1 to 2 months at a time, leaving my coaches, Mozambicans more responsible for ADEDAR on the ground. My idea is if they want it, they will make it continue. I am now more focused on fundraising, grants, and just overseeing from the background how things are running there. And making ADEDAR spread globally, getting females around the world more into rugby.
Today we have over 200 boys and girls playing rugby in Mozambique on 5 teams around Maputo ranging in ages from 8 to over 20 years old. Female participation has grown a lot over the past 4 years, from a mere 5% to over 35% female participation! This is big for us, considering the challenges of the culture in Mozambique that tends to have typical gender roles of girls not playing sports, parents not believing or wanting their daughters to play, etc.
We are lucky enough to be able to take our senior women's team to a 7s tournament on Feb 22 in Hermanus, South Africa. Unfortunately we don't have a sufficient number of women over 18, but we have opened it up as an opportunity for women around the world to make it a travel adventure to come play on our team that weekend! This will give a chance to our women who are over 18 to travel and play other women, and for our younger girls (and their parents) to see the opportunity they could have with rugby if they show commitment, train hard, and play with us!
We are constantly looking for sponsors and fundraising opportunities, partners, and ways to continue to grow the game for all, and especially for the girls!