Following an incredible week’s trip to Fiji, RugbyWA Board Member, and co-founder of the Sea of Blue, Alison Foskett has returned home with many tales to tell about her trip to the Pacific.
Travelling to the small town of Nadi, which is situated along the West Coast of Fiji’s main island, Alison, along with women from all over the world, attended a Women’s Leadership Workshop which was funded by World Rugby.
The focus of the Workshop was to discuss the programs which have been put in place across the Oceanic region to help grow rugby for women and to implement leadership skills for women in those areas.
Other significant women who were also present at the conference were Rugby Australia CEO Ralene Castle and the Chief Operating Officer of New Zealand Rugby Nicki Nicol who both talked about their experiences of working in a male dominated environment.
The Workshop had a huge impact on the region as it made the local paper, the FIJI SUN.
Due to her love of Fiji, Alison decided to stay in Fiji for a further few days after the Workshop to explore the rugby community in Nadi where she attended a coaching clinic for the Jetset Junior Rugby Club.
“I love Fiji, and I decided to stay on a couple of more days at my own expense, and I thought while I’m there I want to give something back to the Fijian community, because I know from having been there before, most of the people there have absolutely nothing, but they are so passionate about rugby.”
“I got in touch with RugbyWA CEO Bob Hunter and asked if he had any old stock that I could take over, and so I took over a whole suitcase of RugbyWA branded balls, T-Shirts and all that.”
“I also got in touch with John O’Connor, the Head of Fiji Rugby Union, and I said I’m coming over and I’d like to donate some gear to a club. He put me in touch with a Development Officer in Nadi.”
“The Development Officer said that there’s this new Junior club set up in Nadi, it’s the only Junior club in Fiji, and it’s called Jetset Junior Rugby, and they’d love to have some gear, so come on down, present the stuff and meet the kids. So that’s what I did.”
“Handing over the gear to the kids was surreal, their eyes just lit up like saucers, just an old Western Force cap made them go wow! They were absolutely fabulous.”
“The coaches and managers there actually use the gear we donated as an incentive to keep the kids coming back.”
“On this scrubby bit of grass right next to the runway of Nadi Airport I watched the U9’s and U15’s play touch, half of them had nothing on their feet, and some of them had some incredible skills.”
“It was really inspiring watching the kids do all their side steps and diving for the line doing their swan dives.”
Following her incredible trip, Alison hopes to keep a connection between her and the Fijian Rugby community in Nadi and is ambitious to build a relationship between a Junior club in Perth and the Jetset Junior Rugby Club in Nadi.