Rugby Tackling Life helping empower women through rugby

Former Lady Rat PK using rugby to help young women in Uganda

Over the past few years, through the work of Lady Rat PK, Charles River has developed a connection with the Ugandan women’s rugby community.  Through the work of women like former Ugandan rugby star Helen Koyokoyo Buteme, rugby is being used as a means to empower young women in the country, and help them make their own futures brighter.  Buteme, PK, and a few others have recently founded Rugby Tackling Life to help sustainably finance this work.  To raise funds, they have created their own blend of coffee, aptly named COOFFEEE.  A portion of every bag sold will be donated to #RugbyTacklingLife.

At RUGBY TACKLING LIFE we do not choose a path for the girls and young women to take but equip them with skills and confidence so they can take the right path that suits them and will help them tackle life; on and off the rugby pitch. - Rugby Tackling Life

The organization has already rolled out COOFFEEE in Uganda, but #RugbyTacklingLife has now launched a campaign to help raise money to start the distribution for COOFFEEE so they can grow their reach and continue to sustain their work.

The women of Charles River are well aware of how being a rugger has impacted their lives, and all of us in the club know how empowering this sport can be.  We are proud to support the work of #RugbyTacklingLife to help grow the game and make women strong through this sport we love!


To learn more about this campaign, see the video at the bottom of this page and visit the link via the button below!


Co-Founder Annekatrin Els explains a little about what is behind Rugby.Tackling.Life and the work to empower young Ugandan women with rugby.

When I came to Uganda nearly 7 years ago, I had no plans of staying here and had never played rugby and had certainly no intentions of adopting a child. I started playing, met my daughter and got involved with Malayaka House, an orphanage home with 40 kids. Due to horrific circumstances we “received” 10 young girls in December 2010 because another home had to be abolished. Those girls had been stuck together for years fighting to survive in their harsh environment, trying not to be seen in order not to cause any trouble. Beautiful, beautiful young women they are! I needed them to get out of the house and do something besides school so I asked them if they wanted to play rugby and they said yes and this is how Entebbe Sharks were born in December 2011. Rugby has turned the girls lives upside down. All of a sudden they had to be loud, present, they weren’t the orphans any longer but individuals who stood out, they became healthier, better and the sky is the limit for them. Their current captain Maurice, for example, is coaching older boys in her school..

Seeing this development and being involved with the Uganda Women’s Rugby Association we realized that through Rugby we found a “tool” to get the girls together, push them to their limits, turn them into strong people, make them stay in school and support them along the way with fees, medical support, equipment etc. We have 2000 of those girls now all over Uganda and we cannot stop. It is all about developing capacity on all levels because our main problem still is that girls as early as 14 or 15 are married off or get pregnant because this seems to be their best life choice. But we can offer them alternatives!!!.

The reason why we started Rugby Tackling Life as a separate organization is to be able to continue our work after our term with UWRA is over and to reach out further and deeper into the girls lives..

Finding sponsors is tricky, especially here in Uganda because most corporates do not understand the long term success or even believe that women should not be doing any sports..

As a coffee addict, I got talking to our coffee roaster and we decided to develop our very own Ugandan COOFFEEE which is a blend of 1 Robusta and 2 Arabica. Of every bag we sell, the roaster donates a certain amount to our Rugby Tackling Life programme. The feedback we have received so far is pretty good so we want to roll COOFFEEE out internationally. The more we sell, the more funds we have available for Rugby Tackling Life..

With this Indieogo campaign we are aiming to raise enough funds to make an impact with our Rugby Tackling Life programme and to test COOFFEEE and our current contribution. Rugby.Tackling.Life Indiegogo Page