Uganda Lady Rugby Cranes player Samiya Ayikoru has been named among Rugby Africa’s ‘Unstoppables’.

Credit: Rugby Africa

The ‘Unstoppables’ are part of World Rugby’s Try And Stop Us campaign to accelerate the development of women’s rugby in the world. This year, World Rugby has empowered continental bodies to take part in the campaign in its second phase.

Ayikoru, who plays in the fullback position, features for Kenyan club Mwamba Ladies RFC and has been part of Uganda women’s fifteens rugby national team, the Lady Rugby Cranes. She has been named Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) Female Rugby Player of the Year a record three times, including last year.

Samiya Ayikoru on her Mwamba Ladies RFC debut. Credit: Kenya Women Rugby

She joins 11 other women and girls from across the African continent with unstoppable qualities in the campaign which will run on social media for three months. Over 60 applicants from 19 countries submitted their stories to be a part of this campaign.

The campaign will feature individual photos and videos of the 12 Unstoppables with short entertainment teasers and in-depth conversations telling their own compelling stories.

We want to do something very impactful and sustainable for all women in rugby on the continent to get players, fans and sponsors interested in the game. Our goal is to uplift the “Unstoppables” and the women in rugby beyond this campaign.

Khaled Babbou, President Rugby Africa

Rugby Africa has identified the low representation of female players, coaches and match officials as an area that needs a special focus. They have revealed an ambitious strategy that aims to grow women’s rugby in Africa by an additional 30 percent in five years.

Full List of Rugby Africa’s ‘Unstoppables’:

  • Abigail Kawonza, Board Member, Coach of Match Officials, Referee, Zimbabwe
  • Babalwa Latsha, International Player, Springbok 15s Captain, South Africa
  • Christel Janet Kotze, Coach and TV producer, Namibia
  • Donatienne Rasoampamonjy, Coach, Coach Trainer, Club founder, Madagascar
  • Fatma El-Kindiy, Communication and project Manager, Botswana
  • Ella Paule Guei, Referee, Côte d’Ivoire
  • Fatou Camara Sene, Administrator and communication manager, Senegal
  • Rafatu Inusah, Board member and educator, Ghana
  • Peris Mukoko, Board member, Educator, Match official, Kenya
  • Samiya Ayikoru, International Player, Uganda
  • Sanaa Barakat, Player, Egypt
  • Wejdane Limame, Citing commissioner, Club President, Tunisia

Ernest Akorebirungi is an amateur rugby player and a keen follower of local Ugandan rugby.

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