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Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

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Last time you were here, you were looking to help vulnerable children and families. Your support can save and change lives.

Amy Sligar, 20-year-old Giants netballer, is the latest to join ChildFund Australia’s Ambassador program. Bright, ambitious, and determined, Amy’s love for netball began as a young girl.

Inspired by her Mum, an avid netballer, Amy and her twin sister started playing netball at school as soon as they were old enough to sign up. Like many other young girls around Australia, they spent most Saturday mornings of the winter months on the netball court.

As she got older, her passion for netball grew. Amy began to compete on a regional, state and then national level. Before long she was chosen as a training partner for the Giants Netball Squad and at the end of 2021, she signed her first professional netball contract with the team.

Amy first heard about ChildFund Australia through her teammate. “My teammate, who does a lot of work in the charity space, recommended me for the ambassadorship. She is someone I’ve always looked up to and seen as a role model. So, for her to have supported and encouraged me to take on this role was exciting,” said Amy.  

She was particularly excited to learn about Sport for Development – a curriculum that uses sport to teach children and young people vital life skills. “Sport has been such a big part of my life, and if I can be a part of creating positive change, then that’s pretty cool.”

She believes that sport teaches teamwork and gives people a sense of community. Amy says she has experienced firsthand just how much sport can change and influence your life.

“The power that sport has, and the reach that it has, can truly change people’s lives. Whether you’re playing professionally or just playing with your mates, it has so much to offer. It teaches you so many different skills, not just the physical skills but the mental skills too.”

Both of Amy’s parents are teachers and her family spent living overseas throughout her childhood. Amy shared that this gave her the opportunity to learn about different cultures and meet people from diverse backgrounds.

Becoming a ChildFund Ambassador isn’t Amy’s first time working with children. Growing up she taught swimming. “I loved teaching swimming. It was fun but it was also teaching the kids such a vital life skill.”

She has also spent many hours coaching netball. “I just love seeing the kids just having fun and getting involved and learning about the sport.” 

Off the court, Amy is studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at UTS. Amy thinks that one day she’d like to become a paediatric doctor and continue working with children.

Learn more about ChildFund Australia’s Ambassador program.

Emily Chancellor is thrilled to be stepping back out onto the international rugby stage with the Wallaroos for the Rugby Women’s World Cup 2021, being played in New Zealand in November 2022.

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wallaroos are back to a full-time training schedule. “It’s nice to be back together as a team, good to be back out on the paddock and blow off some cobwebs,” said Emily.

A fierce competitor on the field, Emily is just as passionate about achieving gender equality for girls and women through sport. She believes that children and young people can overcome gender disparities by learning to play rugby and that, with the right support, women and girls can break free from social gender stereotypes.

Emily Chancellor at practice.

“I got an opportunity to go to Laos with ChildFund Rugby, formerly known as ChildFund Pass it Back. It was such an incredible experience to see boys and girls playing rugby for the joy of the game and from any predisposed ideas about gender or biases – but purely for the game and the love of it.”

ChildFund Rugby promotes the right for children and young people to play and learn in their community. The project builds an environment where participants can develop vital life skills, take part in health and education project, and promotes gender equality.

During her time in Laos, Emily was able to experience firsthand the positive impact that playing rugby can have on a child or young person.

“The project builds not only rugby and social skills but builds on education and important health messages that they can teach as well as educating boys and girls on how to be coaches. It’s such a great project and I was so lucky to see and be reminded that rugby is fun.”

Young women who take part in the project have gone onto to become coaches themselves. Through these leadership opportunities, their confidence and leadership skills soar, and they often become respected community leaders and decision-makers.

Emily shares that in countries like Laos, there are limited leadership opportunities for women, and this makes breaking away from social gender norms very difficult.

“There’s some incredible young girls and women I’ve worked with in Laos. I think for so many people have seen a pathway for women in the rugby world. It’s opened an international connection.”

Aside from promoting gender equality, Emily also says that the project is the reason that many children are excited about going to school in the morning.

“It’s a purpose, it’s a reason to come to school. It’s a reason to run around and make friends. It’s a way of bringing developing countries into opportunities that say women have a right to a job and an education and I think that’s really exciting!”

Emily is proud to be advocating for gender equality and girls in sport ahead of the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup.

If you’d like the opportunity to meet Emily Chancellor, join us for the ChildFund Rugby Long Lunch – hosted by ChildFund Australia on Friday 9 September 2022.

For ticket purchases or enquiries, please contact Julia Ridulfo at jridulfo@childfund.org.au or here.

—————-ENDS————–

ChildFund is delighted to be the first ever Principal Charity Partner for the Rugby World Cup 2021, taking place in New Zealand in October.

Following a hugely successful partnership for the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan where rugby fans and commercial partners around the globe pledged more than $3.5 million, ChildFund is delighted to share our appointment as the first ever Principal Charity Partner for the Rugby World Cup 2021, taking place in New Zealand in October. We are particularly honoured to be supporting global efforts to encourage and advocate for women’s participation in sports through this partnership, alongside promoting sport as a means of empowerment, community, and development.

Funds raised from this event and the Rugby World Cup partnership will go towards supporting more women and girls from vulnerable communities, creating strong, collaborative women’s rugby networks in different countries, and building effective pathways for women’s involvement at all levels of the game.