Rugby in Peru in safe hands with CEO Sisy Quiroz

Despite her footballing background, Sisy Quiroz leads an exciting period of nationwide growth for rugby in Peru.

She came to rugby straight from football, yet Sisy Quiroz loves what she has found in the oval game.

The Peruvian national team's goalkeeper for almost 10 years, Quiroz hung up her gloves and changed sports entirely. Now, as CEO of the Federación Peruana de Rugby, she oversees the renewed growth of the game in one of South America’s youngest rugby playing nations.

Challenging gender stereotypes – and football's domination 

Lying on the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by the Andes Mountains, rugby's profile in this country of 33 million people is very small. As is the case in most of the region, football rules.

“There is almost a quarter of a million girls playing football in Peru,” opens Quiroz, who after her playing days and completing university, post-graduate studies, and a Master’s degree, left the corporate world to join sport.

After leading a successful social project with Women’s Football Sevens League, which enjoyed a large profile thanks to its push for open spaces with no discrimination, Quiroz was contacted by football’s global governing body FIFA.

Soon after, Quiroz joined the Peruvian Football Federation, where for close to a year she managed women’s football.

“There were a lot of barriers that needed breaking. It needed planning and a strategy and I arrived at a moment of change,” Quiroz tells World Rugby. “We had to work from the inside, changing the mentality that football is not only for men.”

A new Chairman came and Quiroz left, but knowing that she wanted to stay in sports. Of course, when one door closes, another one opens, and rugby was the opening she walked into.

“My time with football was of a lot of work, we made changes; it was a nice time. But now I am loving rugby.”

Quiroz knew about rugby through friends and had enjoyed the camaraderie, having once played in a friendly game trying to bring together football and rugby players.

As she was analysing options, it was suggested that she put her name forward when the job was advertised. Despite not having a rugby network, Quiroz was chosen and has been working non-stop since taking office.

“I found a federation wanting to grow, needing to work on its structures and develop an integral strategic plan. It is a great opportunity to develop and generate positive things. We have a lot of potential.”

Quiroz believes rugby is a sport that can be easily introduced using tag. “It is super fun for children, with minimum contact. That way, they can learn the basics. The goal is to get it (rugby) to grow, give it strength with age-grade events and tournaments for schools.”

Pandemic gives time to pause

The game has been stopped this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit Peru very hard, mostly in Lima, which is also rugby’s hotbed in the country.

Nonetheless, the time of no rugby has given Quiroz the headspace to fully comprehend the needs for growth.

“We are working on segmenting our clubs, teams and players so that we know what we must offer each in terms of support, services and development.”

"Our focus during COVID-19 has been training and education and we are launching the programme ‘Become the Heart of the Game’."

A profile will also help: “We need visibility, so that people know about the game. We also need more children playing the game.”

'A different kind of sport'

Having had multiple meetings in the last year, Quiroz is happy about how welcomed she was made in rugby. “No personal agendas, or egos. It is only about people trying to make their loved sport bigger.

“The game’s values were an instant impact for me. In rugby I found commitment, camaraderie, chivalry between men and women. In rugby they try to work together – rivalry stays on the field and that is hugely important. It allows us to be an example for future generations.”

Rugby has been an elite sport for many years, but now it is being developed in different strands of society, slowly reaching every corner of the country.

“We still have to make it a nationwide sport, through a development structure and a clear road map that we already have."

“Rugby has values that are positive. Rugby can include everyone with no discrimination – a different kind of sport.”

Despite her short time in the game, Quiroz was selected for World Rugby’s Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship earlier this year. The COVID-19 pandemic interfered with part of her plans, as she was planning to visit the Spanish Rugby Federation to understand how they managed their strategic plan and their development. She is already working with a mentor: Patricia Ramírez.

“Given that I haven’t played rugby, she is very important in giving me an expert vision. Her support is very important for my development in the game.”

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, regional training sessions were undertaken with great success, initially organised by Quiroz. Every national women's team was involved.

"The best players in South America were training together in an unprecedented space in which each country ran a training session."

"At the end of each session, we had a catch-up in which recognised players from each country shared their experiences with younger players. It was an entertaining place, very motivating, that became a unique place to bring South America together in the hardest of times."

Read more: Marjorie Enya and María Catalina Palacio Gaviria join World Rugby and Sudamérica Rugby Councils >>

Last updated: Oct 5, 2020, 8:12:35 AM
RWC Sevens 2022 image
wr-women-news-sevens wr-news wr-women-news Tournament News mz-advisory rwc7s-news wr-news-africa
DHL and Tudor begin the countdown to Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022
World Rugby today welcomes its first partners for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 following the appointments of DHL as Official Logistic Partner and Tudor as Official Timekeeper as they extend their respective partnerships ahead of the eighth edition of the tournament.
World Rugby logo - one to use for generic releases
wr-news wr-women-news mz-advisory
Reclassification of unions and widened representation on committees as World Rugby set to implement governance review recommendations
The reclassification of unions, implementation of an enhanced Integrity Code and wider representation on committee structures are at the heart of the package of transformational governance recommendations approved by the World Rugby Council today.
Algeria
wr-gov-council wr-news wr-women-news mz-advisory wr-news-africa Media release
Rugby’s global expansion increases in Africa
Algeria and Burundi become full members of the international federation following approval at the World Rugby Council meeting
Australia's Wallaroos
wr-news Women's wr-women-news RWC2021 Rugby World Cup wr-women-news-2021
Wallaroos and Manusina to meet in two-test series
Women’s international rugby will return to Australia after an almost two-year absence with the Wallaroos set to face Samoa twice in July.
RWC 2021 Brand Mark
wr-news wr-women-news Tournament News mz-advisory RWC2021 Rugby World Cup wr-women-news-2021
Scene set for super-charged Rugby World Cup as new dates in 2022 confirmed
Rugby World Cup 2021 revised tournament dates which will see New Zealand host the tournament between 8 October-12 November, 2022.
659617507DM00004_Olympic_Ga
sevens-news wr-women-news-sevens sevens Olympic Qualifying sevens-news-olympic wr-news-olympics-w Olympics wr-news wr-women-news mz-advisory wr-news-olympics-m
Olympic excitement builds ahead of World Rugby Sevens Repechage draw
Twelve women’s teams and 10 men’s teams to compete for the final two women’s and one men’s places at the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.
2020 HSBC Sevens
sevens-news wr-women-news-sevens sevens-news-women sevens wr-news-sevens Olympic Qualifying sevens-news-feature sevens-news-olympic wr-news-olympics-w Olympics wr-women-news-regions wr-news wr-women-news Tournament News wr-news-olympics-m sevens-news-men
Olympic qualification would bring Samoa together in celebration, says Auimatagi Sapani
Samoa’s men’s and women’s sevens teams are both scheduled to compete in next month’s repechage tournament for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Photo of France coach Annick Hayraud during England v France in the Autumn International Series
wr-news Women's wr-women-news Feature RWC2021 Rugby World Cup wr-women-news-2021
France coach Annick Hayraud confident of a bright future for Les Bleues
The France coach reflects on her side's Women’s Six Nations 2021 campaign as they prepare for the upcoming Rugby World Cup.
Portia Woodman RWC Sevens 2018
sevens-news wr-women-news-sevens Women's sevens-news-women sevens rwc7s-news wr-news-sevens sevens-news-feature sevens-news-history wr-ga-sevens wr-news wr-women-news Tournament News Rugby World Cup wr-women-news-classic sevens-news-men
Seven of the best players in Rugby World Cup Sevens history
From Waisale Serevi to Portia Woodman, we take a look at seven of the greatest players to grace the RWC Sevens tournament.
Photo of France's Jessy Trémoulière catching the ball
France2023 wr-news Women's wr-women-news Rugby World Cup France RWC2023
Player of the Decade Trémoulière on joining France 2023 Players' Committee
The France full-back talks to World Rugby about her selection on the Rugby World Cup France 2023 Players' Committee.