Bounpasong, a ChildFund Pass It Back coach and member of the Lao National Women’s team, shares her rugby story.
Sabaidee! My name is Bounpasong. I was born in Savannakhet Province in Laos and I have been playing rugby for 1½ years. I play for the Vientiane Lion Club and I am a coach with ChildFund Pass It Back.
I grew up in a remote area, a long way from school. When I was 15 years old I moved to study at Phonthan Secondary School in Laos’ capital of Vientiane, and lived with my aunt.
I began playing rugby in grade 5 at school. I was very excited to be able to play with the Naga National Rugby team. My first match was in Hong Kong.
I want to give more opportunities to disadvantaged children because I used to be in their situation. I want to improve the lives of children in my community.
I was really interested in becoming a coach with ChildFund Pass It Back because I wanted to share my knowledge with others. I was excited to participate in the training, although it was challenging because I wasn’t confident and I had to talk with many people.
When I qualified as a coach, I spoke to more people and learned from different people’s experiences on how to be a leader. Now, I use my leadership skills in team trainings. I need to be a good role model so that everybody follows the rugby principles of honesty, solidarity, passion, respect and discipline.
I want to improve my English skills because I am a national team member and will travel to play in many matches in many countries. In 2017, I played in Hong Kong, and then I was selected to be in the Under 17 National team to play in the South East Asia Games in Malaysia. I am so happy and proud of my achievements and of those who continually support me.
I am very happy that we have the ChildFund Pass It Back program because it helps develop my skills and ideas. I started playing rugby without any knowledge of the game. Now I am in the national team. It’s wonderful to be able to apply lessons from the rugby program into my daily life.
In the next five years, I still want to be playing rugby and continue to improve myself through coaching.
I also want to share my experience with younger generations. I want to give more opportunities to disadvantaged children because I used to be in their situation. I want to improve the lives of children in my community.
I also want to travel, finish my studies, find a secure job, and support my brothers and sisters to complete their studies. I also want to build a new house for my mother and send my youngest brother to get medical rehabilitation overseas.
I am so proud of myself and I feel that I am now a grown-up who is self-reliant and able to support my family.