Young Lady with Rugby Dreams

Rugby world-wide is embracing females to become part of the modern Game as much as males and Indonesian Rugby has begun working with a group of young ladies from the Mama Sayang Orphanage in Jonggol, south of Jakarta in an effort to develop a core group of female Rugby enthusiasts. One of these young ladies features in this month's “Rugby in Indonesia” Newsletter. 

This young lady from Mama Sayang Orphanage is part of the recently commenced Indonesian Women’s Rugby Training, held each Saturday morning at the Jakarta International School from 10am-12pm. There are currently 18 young ladies involved in this program and it is hoped that the number of participants increases over time. Indonesian Rugby has been supporting the Mama Sayang Orphanage through the Priscilla Hall Memorial Foundation since 2005.

Esteriana "Ester" Ekawati

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1. When did you first hear about Rugby? I first heard about rugby 7 years ago, when I was in Year 8 at High School.

2. What do you know about Indonesian Rugby? Indonesian rugby is a moderately popular sport, dating back several decades and it has experienced some success in recent times. I think in Indonesia the Game of Rugby is normally played by men.

3. Why do you love Rugby? I love rugby because it's physically demanding and there is always action. I have to use my head logically, as well as my physical abilities. In Rugby, you can have an all-star but they literally can't do anything without their teammates. EVERYONE has a job to do.

4. What are your favourite Rugby teams? Queensland Reds, Wallabies and All Blacks.

5. Who are your favourite Rugby players? Quade Cooper, Will Genia and James O'Connor.

6. Do you think Rugby is a game that Indonesians can play and enjoy? Yes. Everyone can play Rugby and enjoy it. There is no limitation. Rugby can unite people across Indonesia.

7. What benefits do you see Rugby having for young ladies from Mama Sayang Orphanage? The girls can have fun and really enjoy the Game. We also have to learn to communicate a lot, work as a team and support our friends. Rugby helps to make our friendship stronger. Rugby may seem tough for girls, but I can see lots of smiles and laughter coming up from their faces.

8. What role do you see girls and ladies having in the development of Indonesian Rugby? I can see the girls having the same opportunities as the boys. The girls can do what the boys can do. Sport for Women in Indonesia is not really a big thing and only a few people can really get a chance to enjoy it. Rugby can change our mindset.

9. What are your Rugby dreams? I hope that everyone in Indonesia can learn about Rugby, especially that is not just played by men but also women. It would be great if Indonesian Women can play in an International Championship and everyone supports it. I would like to be part of it.

10. Any other thoughts and ideas that you have about Indonesian Rugby? I want to say congratulations to PRUI for getting approval from KONI. I am very happy that Rugby has been approved as one of Indonesia's National Sports.

--Steve Barber. Original article can be found here.

MAMA SAYANG ORPHANAGE: Every Child Deserves a Future

Situated in Cileungsi, Bogor, the Mama Sayang Orphanage is a bit of a challenge to get to. To keep us from getting lost, Mike Hilliard, founder of the orphanage, offered to meet us halfway as we made our way to the orphanage. We met him at the McDonalds not far from the Cibubur toll gate, and completed the remaining 45-minute commute led by Mike’s car. Along the way we passed the Taman Buah Mekar Sari (Mekar Sari Amazing Tourism Park) before reaching Citra Indah Bukit Menteng, the housing complex where the orphanage is situated.

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Mike Hilliard: Working for the empowerment of poor children

Mike Stanton Hilliard, 62, was keeping an eye on children at the Mama Sayang orphanage when The Jakarta Post arrived for an interview one afternoon.

They were shoveling sand into plastic bags and carrying them inside for minor construction work on the house. The children were five to 17 years old.

""We started this orphanage seven years ago. We came at the request of some churches to help with drug problems, and without the specific backing of any churches or organizations. We came at our own cost,"" Mike, a Christian clergyman, told the Post.

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