A Women in Rugby Leadership Forum was held on 13 December in Bangkok as part of Asia Rugby’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
Hosted by Asia Rugby and World Rugby Council member Ada Milby, delegates were able to discuss and celebrate the incredible work being done by Asia Rugby and its member unions on the growth and development of the women’s game.
Covering topics such as leadership and gender inclusion as well as hearing from case studies on India, Iran, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Laos delegates were able to learn from those within the industry.
World Rugby’s Katie Sadleir was also present to discuss World Rugby’s strategy and implementation progress with World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont delivering the closing remarks.
Nahid Biyarjomandy delivered a case study on her work in Iran: “Some people think it’s a challenge because we cannot have any men coaching or refereeing women’s games, but for us, we see it as a good thing because it creates lots of opportunities for women to take these pathways.”
Sadleir added: “The dynamic of women in rugby leadership in Asia is unique because the game is relatively new and so there are lots of young women who bring a lot of enthusiasm and energy to developing the game for girls and women.”
Milby also commented: “This Forum was about connecting women from the largest and most diverse geographic and cultural region globally to meet, share and brainstorm about how we can be more inclusive in all our activities. It was also about having a robust discussion with the men who attended to collectively work towards ensuring that the biggest market for rugby globally is built on the principle of rugby as truly the “sport for all”
Ross Mitchell GM Asia Rugby Commented “It’s tremendous the work that we are now undertaking in this very important area. There is real traction taking place and the importance of having robust Gender Inclusion policies for us all is becoming increasingly obvious.”