THREE individuals have been appointed to radically increase and improve rugby opportunities across the grassroots end of the game for both women and girls.
The aptly named ‘game changers’ for North Wales, South East and South West Wales will work with every area of the WRU rugby department, along with clubs, schools and hub officers, to increase the number of women and girls regularly involved in Welsh rugby – and improve the rugby products on offer for the Welsh female population who want to take part in the national game.
UsGirls Project of the Year Award winner Lauren Thomas takes up the West Wales role, former Welsh Gymnastics South East Wales Club Development Officer Katy Evans has landed the East Wales position and former Newtown school club hub officer Dave Roberts has been appointed to make a difference for women and girls in the North Wales Development Region.
WRU Women and Girls manager Caroline Spanton said: “These three high calibre individuals will have the challenge of taking women and girls rugby participation in Wales to the next level. We know there is huge demand for rugby by women and girls from the success of the first season of cluster centres, when participation levels doubled but we also know there is massive scope to become one of, if not the top female participation sport in Wales.
“There is a blank canvas for the game changers in many ways and the sky is the limit in terms of where the roles take us as a national sport. We will need to make some brave decisions to reach our aspirations of making it the norm for women and girls to be involved in rugby but with this team now on board, I know we can do this.”
WRU Head of Rugby Participation Ryan Jones added: “It is a strategic priority for us as a Union to become more attractive to women and girls and to remove barriers to enable anyone to participate.
“Our purpose is to enable more people to be involved in rugby more often, with more enjoyment and more success and it is therefore vital to invest in people whose job and sole focus will be to make this a firm reality. We all need to work together with the game changers to ensure we offer various forms of the game and a way of delivering rugby which appeals to women and girls of all ages.”