Standing and Uplifting our Wāhine in Rugby

This week saw the delivery of the inaugural Tū Wāhine event, hosted at Navigation Homes Stadium and designed to celebrate and grow women’s and girl’s rugby in the Counties Manukau region.

Tū Wāhine; to Stand and Uplift our Wāhine in rugby

With the momentum of the history making Super Rugby Women’s game played over the weekend, it was a crucial opportunity to bring together key drivers of women’s rugby and hear about their hopes and their concerns for the game.

The atmosphere of the room throughout the night was strong, inspirational, and inclusive, and overall, the night was deemed a success.

“The night started off well thanks to the welcoming and relaxed environment created by the staff here at the Union. They did a great job at creating a safe place for our Wāhine to express themselves and facilitate meaningful discussion about our game”, says Jeremy Wara, Rugby Development Manager for the Union.

“It was a real pleasure to have administrators from senior, secondary school and junior clubs connecting and problem solving under the same roof.

“For us, it’s great to have not only Wāhine working closely with other Wāhine, but also having the presence of our Tāne who step up in support of our Wāhine. The men who joined us on Monday night played a key role in supporting the mana Wāhine in the room and are also key leaders of the women’s space”.

The workshop was presented by NZRU Women’s Game Development Manager Vania Wolfgramm with the support of CMRFU staff and Ako Wahine - World Rugby educators.  Throughout the night, several core rugby topics were ticked off including rugby smart, coaching small black and senior rugby, professional players perspectives on the game, and the hopes and concerns for Wāhine rugby from an administration and game development perspective.

To add to the value and experience of the occasion, Counties Manukau’s very own Chief’s mana Wāhine – Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu and Hazel Tubic spoke to the floor.

“Hearing from our two Chiefs women’s players off the back of their big win against the Blues on Saturday really set the tone for the evening, as we delved into some of the sacrifices and developments our players have faced over the years as women’s rugby has progressed.

“We are proud of and grateful for the Wāhine who contributed to the success of the night and are committed to the development of such an important area of our game”.

Following on from Monday nights success, there is a follow up workshop in the pipeline, and the event facilitators alongside Counties Manukau Rugby will be taking a deeper look into the future of this space, starting with a crucial analysis of current pathways and opportunities for our women.

There are some actions to be created from the hopes and concerns of the group at large, and Counties Manukau Rugby would like to thank all the champions who attended, delivered, and supported the event.