Sudamérica Rugby appoints Bárbara Pichot as first-ever Women’s Rugby Coordinator

The regional association has introduced the role with the goal to continue promoting the game in South and Central America.

After a regional search and interview process, Sudamérica Rugby has hired Bárbara Pichot to lead a new women’s rugby project in the region, joining as new Women’s Rugby Coordinator.

Women’s rugby in South America has seen a solid growth in recent years, with its fifteen member nations playing the game, yet Pichot believes it can grow much bigger.

“We have a huge task at hand but a lot of people want the game to continue growing,” she tells World Rugby from her home in Buenos Aires.

Born in Argentina and older sister of three former rugby rugby players, her love for the game was instilled by her late father Enrique, a former Club Atlético de San Isidro player and coach.

Her three brothers played in the club’s senior team, with Enrique Jr., currently assistant coach of Los Pumitas, representing Argentina at sevens, and Agustín retiring as one of the country’s all-time greats and an inductee in World Rugby’s Hall of Fame.

As a former field hockey player, Bárbara Pichot first got involved with women’s rugby five years ago, first in her home country.

“What I saw amazed me; the love for the game and the passion in dire circumstances,” she reflects.

“I visited every club and every province, meeting players, their families, getting to know their stories, which were very different to those I was accustomed to hearing at my club, where there is no women’s rugby.”

Known to all as ‘Barbie’, she started covering the women’s game for a magazine and a radio network and was a producer of content for ESPN when she was asked by Sudamérica Rugby to take part in a ground-breaking Women in Rugby Forum in Paraguay, in 2019.

“There are a lot of positive leaders in the region; there is a lot to grow and the will to do so,” she says, pleased with the reaction in the region to her appointment.

In 2019, before COVID-19 intervened, Pichot made 45 rugby-related trips and has visited Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, Colombia and Costa Rica and Panamá, and so understands first-hand the needs in the region.

She has a number of goals, one of which is “make the game appealing at a younger age, that mothers have no fear in taking their daughters to play rugby.”

It is crucial, she believes, that each county has role models, following the idea of World Rugby’s Try and Stop Us campaign, showing how hard women have worked to get where they are.

“We need leaders in each country who can become regional leaders. We can look at what other regions have done and adapt it, all in the joy of a growing sport.”

Development and performance are also high on her agenda. “We need more players at every level.”

Katie Sadleir, World Rugby’s General Manager for Women’s Rugby, welcomed Pichot’s appointment. “Having a new staff member in Sudamérica Rugby to work in women’s rugby falls into our Women’s Plan 2017-2025, which is great news for the growth of the game.”

“Barbie’s drive will be great to have and I trust in her and all the women in South America for continuous growth.”

Ahead of starting in her new role, Pichot, said: “It is with great pride that I will accompany the growth of women’s rugby in the region.”

“I am convinced that with the combined strength of all of us in the region, the National Unions and Federations and World Rugby, we’ll continue to take positive steps that ensure success.”

Read more: Wheelchair rugby: Team GB Paralympian Kylie Grimes on being a woman at the top of the game >>

Last updated: Sep 3, 2020 11:06:52 AM
Rugby - 2019 Rugby Africa Womens Cup - South Africa v Kenya - Bosman Stadium - Brakpan - South Africa
Women's Rugby World Cup Feature News Tournament News Women in Rugby women-news-2021 RWC2021
Zenay Jordaan “proud” of South Africa career as she looks ahead to Rugby World Cup 2021
The Springbok Women fly-half talks to World Rugby about her 11-year international career, which could stretch to a sixth Rugby World Cup appearance in 2021.
Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens 2019 - Women's
Olympics Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby Women-news-sevens
The seven rules driving Japan women’s Tokyo 2020 preparation
Team manager Akane Kagawa gave an insight into the Sakura’s Olympic ambitions during a recent appearance on Asia Rugby Live.
Rugbaí Beo
Women's Feature News Women in Rugby women-news-regions
“TG4 have set the benchmark — it's up to everyone else to follow suit”
Máire Treasa Ní Dhubhghaill, Eimear Considine, Máire Ní Bhraonáin and Kieran Hartigan talk to World Rugby about the Rugbaí Beo broadcast which made Irish history.
Rugby World Cup 2021 Draw
Women's Rugby World Cup News Tournament News Women in Rugby mz-advisory women-news-2021 RWC2021
Rugby World Cup 2025 set to break new ground as tournament expands to 16 teams
World Rugby has confirmed that the women’s edition of the Rugby World Cup will expand to 16 teams from 2025 onwards.
Photo of former Japan captain and founder of One Rugby, Toshiaki Hirose
Women's Sevens Men's Rugby World Cup News Women in Rugby RWC2019
One Rugby: A new movement promoting the sport from former Japan captain Toshiaki Hirose
Former Japan captain Toshiaki Hirose and his non-profit One Rugby are behind a new movement to promote all forms of rugby amongst the Japanese people.
New Zealand v Wales - Rugby World Cup 2019: Bronze Final
Olympics Women's Rugby World Cup News Tournament News Women in Rugby
Six of rugby’s best crossover athletes
From Sonny Bill Williams to Christian Wade, we recap six of the best players to have left their mark in rugby while playing to a high level in another sport.
Su Carty
Women's Feature News Women in Rugby women-news-power
Su Carty put scholarship plans on hold to answer ‘Ireland’s Call’
The World Rugby Council and IRFU Committee member returned to work as a psychiatric nurse in Dublin during Ireland’s initial period of lockdown.
Photo of Brazil sevens player Baby Futuro at Rio 2016
Women's Sevens News Preview Women in Rugby Women-news-sevens
Women’s sevens returns in South America as they bid farewell to a star
Women’s rugby sevens returns in Uruguay with the annual South American Sevens, played in Montevideo this weekend. The tournament, which will mark Baby Futuro’s final outing for Brazil, will be streamed live on the SAR’s app.
Rugby World Cup joint host selection process
Women's Sevens Rugby World Cup News Tournament News Women in Rugby mz-advisory rwc-neutral
Key elements approved for future Rugby World Cup awarding
The World Rugby Council has approved a progressive package of recommendations by the Rugby World Cup Board that reflects the organisation’s ambition to select future men’s and women’s Rugby World Cup hosts via a transparent, best-practice host selection process.
Wales Women coaches Warren Abrahams and Rachel Taylor
Women's Rugby World Cup Feature News Tournament News Women in Rugby women-news-2021 Women-news-coach RWC2021
Warren Abrahams and Rachel Taylor “building for the future” in Wales
The incoming Wales head coach and skills coach hope to inspire future generations of female players while creating a stable and competitive environment.