Viengsamai Souksavanh began her rugby journey while she was still in school. She was first selected for the Lao National Team in 2009 as one of the youngest squad members, and by 2014 was Captain of the Lao National Team at the Asian Games in Korea. In her coaching career, Viengsamai became the first Lao woman to be accredited as a World Rugby Coach Educator and, as the first Lao woman to serve as head Coach of a National Team, leading the Lao National Team to historic victories over Guam and Indonesia. She began her sports administration career supporting Lao Rugby to build their finance capabilities in 2015 and since then has become one of only a handful of female CEOs of national rugby federations globally. In her role as CEO, she has focused extensively on improving Lao Rugby’s safeguarding and inclusion work and has overseen an ongoing multi-year journey of putting in place policies and practices to safeguard athletes at all levels of the organisation in a low resource environment with limited social services.