When the New Zealand Women’s Sevens visited Brazil for the 2016 Women’s Sevens Series Tournament, AIG Brazil took the opportunity to promote a clinic between them and local youth aspiring to become the next generation of rugby stars. 

AIG Brazil and the New Zealand Women’s Sevens hosted the students from +Sport +Values program, at a special clinic organized by AIG Brazil’s partner the Alma Rugby Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching youth about sportsmanship and values through the sport of rugby.

41 students from Paraisópolis, a local community in São Paulo, take part in the program since last year, and were invited by AIG to play a game, get tips from the pros, and learn the principles of respect, discipline, teamwork, chivalry, and fun. 

"Rugby is able to change the lives of many people, just as it changed mine,” said New Zealand Women’s Sevens Wing Portia Woodman, regarded as one of the best women’s rugby players in the world. “Today, the sport is my job and it has allowed me to travel the world doing what I like."

Raising interest in rugby among young Brazilians seemed like a significant challenge when the Alma Rugby +Sport +Values program first began in 2015. In just its second year, the positive response the program is getting from kids shows rugby has the potential to become one of the most popular sports in the country.

"This moment is a memory to keep for a lifetime,” said Bruna Takano, a 15 year-old student of  +Sport +Values. “It's special to play with athletes we admire.”

In recognition of her strong performance at the clinic, Takano was presented with an official New Zealand Rugby jersey from Woodman. 

"For all of us at AIG, it is very rewarding to support such an important program that is so beneficial to young people,” said Paride Della Rosa, General Manager of AIG Brazil. “Using sports as a social and development tool is something that is in our DNA."

As a Major Global Sponsor and the Official Insurance Partner, AIG is proud to support six national New Zealand Rugby teams: the All Blacks, Maori All Blacks, All Blacks Sevens, and New Zealand Women’s Sevens, the New Zealand Black Ferns, and New Zealand Under 20s. For more information about the sponsorship, visit the AIG All Blacks partnership page.