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  • Mandy Nurrenbern

Girls do play, will play, and yes, they play #likeagirl

If I could have my women’s team travel to games and tournaments in South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, anywhere in Africa. Heck, anywhere in the world, I would take them in a heartbeat. This is such a treat and privilege to be able to head to Hermanus, South Africa Feb. 22 and I want to make sure you know how thankful we are for this opportunity.

One of the hardest things about a non-profit is the funding. Where do you find the funds? How do you apply for grants? Who is good at grant-writing? How do we pay for that? How do we pay our coaches? How do we provide the traveling opportunities that rugby can provide for our players? In the end, it’s because of people like you that have made it possible this far. Donations, sharing, liking our page, following what we are doing, telling your friends, etc, all helps.

Where we are now for Hermanus 7’s: We are going with who we have, which in the end, isn’t quite enough to make up a full team, but then again, our funds didn't quite reach for a full team either. It did reach enough for the ones able to go. Our team consists of – Crelia, Constancia, Orquidia, Mandy, Irene (from RugBO), and possibly Irene’s friend, Irene. Nelio is our coach and guide to our play on the field. The organizer of the tournament is going to help us with a few players from other teams. It’s still going to be 100% worth it.

We are definitely an inexperienced, young team, but we have the heart and desire to get more experience and grow. What we learn here we can take back to our younger girls in ADEDAR in Mozambique. The young girls (and hopefully their parents) will start seeing the opportunities and the values of rugby, and our numbers of 35% female participation can start to get closer to that 50% mark.

I will gloat here, this will be the first women’s team from Mozambique to travel for rugby, and I am super excited, nervous, anxious, all the emotions! This is what we have been striving for for 4 years, to be the leader in rugby for females in Mozambique.

Our coach Nelio said to me the other day:

"Mandy, I am now realizing how much ADEDAR is helping our girls so much. Our girls made a meeting on their own (without me!) to address some issues to fight more for women in rugby. This really moved me because it means that you taught me, then I taught them, and today they manage on their own. The objectives of ADEDAR for me are reaching to 70/80% success so far!!"

All from a dream of rugby, Mozambique, and fighting for gender equality. This reaches my heart 100%. I couldn’t be prouder of the leaders we have for ADEDAR and the girls we have who go against the traditional norm of Mozambican culture! Girls do play, will play, and yes, they play #likeagirl. They are awesome on and off the field! Our trip to Hermanus is not only for the ones who are physically traveling, but for all of our girls who play and who will play! Wish us luck! February 22 is just around the corner!

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