Tuesday 21 May saw World Rugby announce their landmark global campaign to revolutionise women’s rugby. #TryAndStopUs
With a new ‘Women in Rugby’ brand identity, the global campaign ‘Try and Stop Us’ was also launched.
The campaign has initially identified 15 women and girls involved in rugby with inspiring stories that are ‘unstoppable’.
For Asia, they are the most represented region with four of the 15 unstoppable stories to be told with Sweta Shahi from India the first to be highlighted.
Katie Sadleir, World Rugby General Manager of Women’s Rugby, spoke to Asia Rugby at the launch event as to why they have chosen four of the 15 stories to be from Asia.
— Asia Rugby (@asiarugby) May 21, 2019
“We’ve chosen 15 women from around the world to be our first unstoppables, but particularly chose four from Asia so that the most come from Asia,” said Sadleir.
“Why do we do that? Well we know that is where some of our biggest growth markets are. To see what’s been happening in Asia linked to Rugby World Cup and the Tokyo Olympics, we want to get behind the unions to ensure they have the toolkits and resources that they need to help them grow women in rugby.
“Asia is really well led by Ada Milby who happened to be the first woman on the World Rugby Council.
“Her role has been to work with the Council inside Asia to make them understand the importance and the strategic growth that there is with women in rugby.
“We have run one leadership forum there and hope to run another one with key stakeholders across Asia to help them see how they can use campaigns like this to help them grow their women in rugby.”
Milby, who was also present at the event in Dublin, described this time as ‘exciting’ for all women’s rugby in Asia.
“It is a really exciting time to be a female player in Asia,” added Milby.
“We have a growing robust competition schedule, we have inclusion in the Olympics, we have inclusion in the Asia Games, each sub-region has inclusion in the likes of the SEA Games and now we have U20s, U18s.
“There are huge opportunities to grow rugby for women. It is exciting, and if you’ve never tried rugby I encourage you to do so and become an unstoppable.”
World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper also echoed the sentiments of Sadleir and Milby, describing the campaign as ‘an attitude of spirit and character to live your life by’.
“It’s an exciting day for rugby and for Asia Rugby,” explained Gosper.
“There is four of the 15 unstoppable stories who are the women we are using to inspire women in the world from Asia.
“It is about being unstoppable, it is about the universal truth in rugby which is that this is a sport that teaches you an attitude of spirt and character to live your life by. It is a life skills lesson from rugby but an exciting campaign featuring some inspiring stories.”