Rugby Europe, in conjunction with World Rugby and the F.I.R (Federazione Italiana Rugby), will be bringing 50 participants from 20 countries to the capital of Italy for the two-day event, which will feature many prominent figures and keynote speakers.
The aim of the event will be to continue developing the leadership in women’s rugby and ensuring that fair opportunities for women in rugby continues to grow across the continent.
The forum is targeted towards men and women who are involved in the governance, sporting, and administrative positions in Rugby Europe’s unions across European rugby.
There is a desire and need to continue to develop how the women’s game is perceived and there will be an opportunity to help shape the key pillars on how the Rugby Europe Women in Rugby toolkit will look, whilst also creating an opportunity to further strengthen the network of rugby leaders.
Rugby Europe President Mr. Octavian Morariu said: “The time for strategic reflexion has passed. During the last women’s forum held in Spain in 2018, we had defined a clear and strong vision on how to develop women’s participation in all strands of the Game. What is expected from us today is concrete and measurables actions to be replicated in all European Unions and that will inspire women’s leaders of tomorrow.“
Marzio Innocenti (FIR Chairman) said: “Rugby Europe Women’s Forum comes at an exciting time for the Game in our country. FIR is strongly committed to give a solid contribution to our players’s need and to a modern, fully inclusive, and equal society and some key decisions taken by our governance since our stint has started are fully consistent with our vision. From the very start of our stint, we proofed how we do care about Women’s rugby, both financially and from a human resources point of view. During the Six Nations Championship an historic deal with our international women players has been reached, in order to support them in their pathway to this autumn’s Rugby World Cup and as students, workers and players. We will keep on working to develop athletes and women embodying the values of the Game both on and off the field, approaching the sport professionally at the same time. We are excited to host in Rome representatives from the other Unions to share with them a common vision for developing women’s game in Europe. It feels like a comeback-home as Italy has always been highly involved and supportive of the former FIRA, today Rugby Europe. We will listen to a thrilling panel of speakers and I’ve no doubt the Forum will be highly productive”.
Francesca Gallina (FIR Board member and Chairperson of Rugby Europe Women’s sub-committee) said: “Women’s rugby has deeply changed in the last years, growing attention has been paid to the women’s game, the number of players had increased, but we still need to develop the leadership of women’s not only in the game, but also out of the pitch, like in governance or administrative positions at every level, in the union boards, in clubs etc. The aim we share as Women’s Rugby Sub-Committee of Rugby Europe is to help European unions to give more opportunities to women to become leaders across the many roles they can assume in rugby. I am really happy that, after three years from the first Forum, we will meet in Rome to discuss how to develop new leaders and how to support unions in providing equal opportunities for women and men. It will be a great chance for all the participants and their unions.”
Mihir Warty (World Rugby’s Chief Strategy Officer) said: “Women’s rugby is the number one growth opportunity for the sport around the world - including Europe. The Rugby Europe Women’s Rugby International Leadership Forum will help ensure that women’s rugby remains rightly high on the agenda of our member unions, and also provide practical solutions for taking the sport forwards.”
First edition of Rugby Europe Women's Forum took place in Madrid in November 2018