Humans of Lao Rugby: Poupay


Before Poupay joined a rugby team, she never played any sports. When her friends introduced her rugby, she wanted to try it to find out what is was like. When she joined the team, apart from learning about playing rugby - like receiving and passing the ball - she also learned about life skills that she can apply into her daily life. She has learned how to save money, and that men and women have equal rights, and that both men and women can play rugby. Poupay’s team had a chance to participate in a tag rugby competition, and her team won 3rd place in the event. What she likes best about rugby is running to place tries to make scores for the team. She said that “I like rugby because it provides me opportunities to learn about sport skills and life skills that I can use in my daily life. In addition, the curriculum provides knowledge about gender roles and I have learned that men and women can play rugby equally. What I am proud of is making scores for the team in the games, and another thing is I am brave to speak out that all sexes can play this sport - whether men, women, or the third gender.”

Besides playing tag rugby, Poupay also has had the chance to play contact rugby with a U14 team. She played against teams from Xiengkhouang Province, Vientiane Capital and from Hungary. Her U14 Team’s name is Ling-noy (Little monkey). The coach is Vaen and Jiab is an assistant coach. Poupay’s team won 3rd place in their first competition. This made her want to play contact rugby again. Poupay is supported by her family in playing rugby, both tag and contact rugby. For instance, her parents bought her training shoes and racing shoes. “It was my first time playing contact rugby, and I was very happy with the game. I learned new skills in contact rugby and I am happy that my parents are supporting me to do what I like. When my parents support me, I will do my best. In the future I want to play for the national team and travel to play in many countries as a representative of Laos.” Poupay said.