Oceania holds inaugural Women's Leadership Workshop

The inaugural Oceania Women's Rugby Leadership Workshop took place in Fiji last week, attended by coaches, medical officials, development manager and women in leadership roles.

The inaugural Oceania Rugby Women’s Leadership Workshop formed part of a Super Week attended by professionals across the sport of rugby comprising of coaches, medical officials, technical officials, development managers and also women in leadership.

The workshop was held in Fiji as part of an initiative announced by World Rugby in 2017, designed to accelerate the global and regional development of women in rugby with the awarding of four Executive Leadership Scholarships to women from the Oceania region earlier this year in Cybele Druma (Papua New Guinea), Vela Naucukidi (Fiji), Cate Sexton (New Zealand) and Jane Schmitt (Australia).

Twenty-five people from across Oceania and scholarship recipients from Ukraine (Irina Arkhytska) and Uganda (Regina Lunyolo) attended the three-day workshop last week. Fiji sevens star Litia Naiqato was also in attendance to discuss her involvement in the Unstoppables campaign that launched World Rugby's new 'Women in Rugby' and 'Try and Stop Us' campaign in May.

World Rugby's General Manager for Women's Rugby Katie Sadleir attended the workshop, the latest one to take place around the world after events in Botswana, Spain, Paraguay and Bangkok over the last 18 months, while Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle and New Zealand Rugby's Chief Operating Officer Nicki Nicol were keynote speakers.

“Quite often when you’re working in countries that are separated by water and distance, you feel like you’re on your own – trying to think of new ideas and opportunities by yourself and this workshop has connected people from across countries and across unions to share and continue to share what has been successful in terms of making a difference for girls and women,” Sadleir said.

“I think this is the first of a very special group of people coming together to talk about how they can accelerate the growth of women in rugby in Oceania.” 

An unforgettable experience

Bruce Cook, World Rugby's Regional Services Manager for Oceania, said that it was important that each of the participants in the workshop walked away knowing that they were critical in the development and the growth of the game in Oceania.

“It’s been a fantastic three days, the presenters have been really good, there have been a lot of addresses, we had Raelene Castle, the Chief Executive of Australia Rugby, here and she was outstanding,” Cook said.

“There has been a broad spectrum of people here looking at leadership and different aspects of leadership so it’s been a tremendous couple days.

One of the scholarship recipients Naucukidi shared how her involvement has helped her seek out experiences and learn from the other female leaders in rugby as they exchanged a lot of learnings and experiences during the workshop.

“They were sharing their ideas and what they are currently doing, especially in New Zealand and Australia, and it’s really an honour to hear the from CEO of Rugby Australia Raelene Castle and the challenges she has had to manage,” Naucukidi said.

“Being in this workshop has been quite overwhelming. I’m more relaxed now as I was in the same room with academics, board members, CEOs from all over the Oceania region but all in all it was an unforgettable experience.”

The workshop also provided the opportunity for participants to experienced firsthand the Get Into Rugby PLUS programme that is being delivered by Oceania Rugby in partnership with the European Union, the Australian Government and the UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office. The programme combines the successful global participation programme with the development of life skills. 

HSBC Canada Women's Sevens 2019
Olympics Women's Sevens News Tournament News Women in Rugby
Sean Horan: 'It’s woken China up to rugby'
China women's sevens coach Sean Horan believes his side's qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has captured the nation's imagination.
Sarah Abdul Baki
Women's Feature News Women in Rugby
Abdul Baki takes 'huge step' for rugby in Syria
Sarah Abdul Baki talks to World Rugby about her hopes for the future after becoming the first woman to referee a domestic match in Syria.
Fernanda  Vázquez
Women's Feature News Women in Rugby
Vázquez hopes to promote change through sport
World Rugby Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship recipient Fernanda Vázquez discusses her life in rugby and how her love affair with the game began.
HSBC Biarritz Sevens 2019
Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby
Nelson: Spain test is start of Rugby World Cup countdown
Scotland, captained for the first time by Helen Nelson, begin a massive year with a challenging test away to Spain in Almeria on Sunday.
HSBC France Women's Sevens 2019
Olympics Women's Feature News Tournament News Women in Rugby
Planning key as Forrest attempts to grow Team GB culture
Great Britain women's sevens coach Scott Forrest talks to World Rugby about plotting a path to Tokyo 2020 while balancing his day-to-day commitments in Scotland.
Lettizia Alcaraz
Women's Feature News Women in Rugby
Alcaraz: 'Life took me towards rugby'
World Rugby Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship recipient Lettizia Alcaraz was an Argentine international futsal player before finding a home in rugby.
Regina Lunyolo and Kendra Cocksedge
Women's Feature News Women in Rugby
'The onus is on us to inspire girls to play rugby'
World Rugby Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship recipient Regina Lunyolo talks about her hopes of growing playing numbers while ensuring there is a pathway for female leaders in Uganda.
England Women v France Women - Quilter International
Women's Feature News Women in Rugby
Prospect of fourth Rugby World Cup excites Scarratt
World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Year 2019 Emily Scarratt talks about switching from sevens to 15s, forsaking another Olympic Games and the potential of appearing at a fourth Rugby World Cup.
Kim Kan
Women's Feature News Tournament News Women in Rugby
'There is a place for women on boards of directors'
Hong Kong Rugby Union Director of Women's, Kim Kan talks about life in her new role and what she hopes to achieve over the next three years.
Soledad Galleguillos
Women's Feature News Women in Rugby
Rugby gave Galleguillos the tools to succeed in life
World Rugby Executive Leadership Scholarship recipient Soledad Galleguillos has enjoyed a busy 2019 in rugby and beyond.