World Rugby is proud to announce a further three recipients of its Leadership Development Scholarships for talented women in rugby from the Sudamérica Rugby region. Marjorie Enya (Brazil), Maria Catalina Palacio Gaviria (Colombia) and Ana María Milburn Arocena (Uruguay) were chosen by World Rugby and Sudamérica Rugby to receive the scholarships.
The scholarships were introduced as part of World Rugby’s wider strategy to accelerate the global development of women in rugby and maximise the rugby leadership potential of talented women currently working in the game.
Under World Rugby’s scheme, a total of £240,000 will be awarded in scholarships to inspiring female leaders across World Rugby’s six regional associations over the next two years. The scholarships can be used to enhance the professional development of the successful applicants through a variety of opportunities such as formal or informal education, conferences, workshops, mentoring, secondments, or best practice study tours.
The scholarship recipients:
- Marjorie Enya (Brazil) – Confederação Brasileira de Rugby Board Member, representative of women’s rugby community, member of the Development Committee, Women’s Rugby Director for Paulisata Rugby Federation (São Paulo) and former manager of the Brazil women’s sevens team and Services Manager for Rugby at the Olympic Games at Rio 2016
- Maria Catalina Palacio Gaviria (Colombia) – Director of Operations of Federación Colombiana and President of the Antioquian Rugby Federation
- Ana María Milburn Arocena (Uruguay) – Board member of the Unión de Rugby del Uruguay, founder and coordinator of the International School Leagues for rugby and hockey
Recipients from the Rugby Africa, Asia Rugby and Rugby Americas North regions were announced in March 2018, while those from Oceania Rugby and Rugby Europe will be revealed later in the year.
World Rugby’s mission is to drive forward gender-balance in the sport by ensuring women have equal opportunities in all areas, are integrated in strategy, plans and structures and make highly valued contributions to participation, performance, leadership and investment in the global game.
Since the launch of World Rugby’s ground-breaking 2017-25 Women’s Plan in November last year, the international federation has been working with unions and regional associations to review gender inclusiveness in governance and management and to put in place proactive strategies to develop good practice.
Part of this has been to design and implement targeted leadership development programmes to identify and support the current and next generation of female leaders. World Rugby is also helping to run regional leadership forums and developing a good practice governance resource for regions and unions.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “Following the launch of our landmark 2017-25 Women’s Plan, the development of women in rugby is a top priority for World Rugby. We remain fully committed to accelerating the growth of women in rugby at all levels of the game, both on and off the field. Our Leadership Development Scholarships will support the development of not only the recipients, but rugby in general across the six regions.”
Sudamérica Rugby President Sebastián Piñeyrúa said: “The promotion of women in rugby is a top priority and crucial to the development and growth of the game. World Rugby’s Leadership Development Scholarships will give the recipients the opportunity to become leaders of our national unions and regional federations, an important step towards expanding and strengthening women's rugby. Sudamérica Rugby would like to congratulate Marjorie, Maria Catalina and Ana María and wish them every success.”
World Rugby General Manager of Women’s Rugby Katie Sadleir added: “It is fantastic to announce more recipients of World Rugby’s Leadership Development Scholarship. Under our strategic Women’s Plan, we are determined to be a global leader in sport, with governance and management processes setting the standard for good practice. This includes the recent historic governance reform that saw the introduction of 17 new seats for women on World Rugby Council, the sport’s highest decision-making body. The scholarships will hugely benefit the new recipients in their development, driving the game forward in their unions and regions, and further improving gender balance within our sport.”