Members of the world champions Black Ferns paid a South Auckland women’s prison a visit to share our nations game and inspire the inmates through their personal stories of triumph and tribulations.

Portia Woodman says they made a visit to the largest female prison in New Zealand to encourage female inmates to create change.

“When I got told I was going to be coming to the prison, I have never really experienced anything like this. I was a little bit nervous but once I got in there and seen the girls - they are just like us.”

Although Māori women only makes up seven per cent of the New Zealand population, they also make up more than half of the female prison population.

Woodman also says the Black Ferns believe that a programme such as this could make a significant impact.

“I got to see a different side to them and hopefully they can somehow see that they can be in the same position as us and hopefully pursue whether rugby or whatever it is that they dream of.”

At the beginning of the year, Renee Wickliffe visited the Christchurch Women’s Prison and says it was that experience that prompted her to push for this programme to go national.

“It's pretty cool that we get this opportunity to come in here and we're hoping to continue that.

“I think the big thing about being a Black Fern or a rugby player is to be able to give back to the community and just to come in here share our stories. "

The Black Ferns also believe that we're all in this waka together, a waka of wellbeing for our people.

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