Dublin, March 7, 2019: On the eve of International Women Day, World Rugby has renewed its commitment to driving inspirational leadership and fast-tracking the development of women in rugby on and off the pitch through its successful Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship programme.
Receiving more than 100 applications globally, this year the highly sought-after World Rugby Executive Leadership Scholarships have awarded to 14 women from different unions, an increase on the 10 who awarded in 2018.
Working in conjunction with the regional associations, who oversee the application process, the scholarship programme will offer more opportunities for leadership development for its member unions and regional associations.
A key strand of the Accelerating the global development of women in rugby 2017-25 strategy, the scholarship programme objectives aim to support talented women worldwide to further develop their rugby leadership potential and ensure that rugby is a global leader in sport.
2019 World Rugby Executive Leadership Scholarship recipients (International Women Day)
Cate Sexton (New Zealand): Head of Women’s Rugby Development at New Zealand Rugby
Vela Naucukidi (Fiji): Women’s Development Manager for FRU, former President of the FWRU (2007-12) and current Secretary since 2013
Jane Schmitt (Australia): Director and board member of Queensland Rugby Union
Cybele Druma (Papua New Guinea): Former CEO of PNGRFU and President of the National Capital District Rugby Union
Gemma Fay (Scotland): Head of Girl’s and Women’s Rugby with Scottish Rugby
Katharina Kueß (Austria): Vice-President and head of women’s rugby in Austria, a player and coach.
Annelies Acda (Nederland): Rugby Nederland Board member and Rugby Europe Women’s Rugby Committee member
Irina Arkhytska (Ukraine): Secretary General for Ukraine Rugby Union
Regina Lunyolo: Chairperson of the Uganda Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee and committee member for the Gender Equality and Diversity commission of the UOC
Edvige Manga (Senegal): Deputy Secretary General of Senegal Rugby Union
María Fernanda Vázquez Villatoro (Mexico): Manager and Board member at Wallabies Rugby Football Club Mexico
Lauren Rothwell (Bermuda): Board Member and Public Relations Officer for Bermuda Rugby Union and national team player
Lettizia Alcaraz (Argentina): Women’s Rugby Development Manager of the Northeast Rugby Union, former international player
Soledad Galleguillos (Chile): Development Manager of Women’s Rugby and former international player for Chile, coach and educator
Sir Bill Beaumont: “We would like to congratulate the 14 successful recipients of this year’s World Rugby Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarships.
Significant strides have made across the women’s game since the inception of the ambitious women’s development plan and the scholarship programme has at the heart of the success story.
With an unprecedented number of applications and an increase in recipients this year, positive steps are being made forward in our commitment to fast track the development of women in rugby.”
Serge Simon, Chair of the WR Women’s Advisory Committee, said:
“Congratulations to all who have been awarded a scholarship this year.
The scholarships programme is a fantastic way of empowering the current and next generation of global female leaders in rugby.”
World Rugby General Manager of Women’s Rugby Katie Sadleir says:
“Ahead of International Women’s Day we delight to confirm the 14 recipients of the World Rugby Executive Leadership Scholarships.
By supporting women in rugby to access more learning opportunities that will advance their leadership development, we are promoting greater parity within our sport.”
About Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarships:
The purpose behind the scholarship programme is to support talented women to further develop their Rugby Leadership potential. The scholarships are open to women who
Are currently involve in Rugby at a governance level (Board Member) or,
Currently involve in Rugby at a senior management level (third tier and above) or,
Have the potential to be involved in either a senior management level or Union/Region Board within 2 years.
The scholarship can use to support a combination of leadership development opportunities.
These may range from; formal or informal education, conferences, workshops, mentoring, secondments, best practice study tours.
The components of the scholarship should individually tailor to meet the professional development needs of those applying.
Rugby Asia have deferred their 2019 scholarship allocation opportunity until 2020. —- World Rugby