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LiveWIRe Women In Rugby Conference: “The Pathways Are There”

LiveWIRe Women In Rugby Conference: “The Pathways Are There”

RBS Women's Six Nations Championship 9/2/2013 Ireland vs England Fiona Steed and Adrian O'Farrell Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

A new conference will provide the opportunity for women in rugby to come together and share their personal journeys on International Women’s Day 2020.

LiveWIRE: Women In Rugby Conference takes place on Sunday March 8th at the Herbert Park Hotel in Dublin. It will be held ahead of the Women’s 6 Nations meeting of Ireland and Italy at nearby Energia Park and is the first event of its kind.

The conference is free to attend and includes admission to Ireland v Italy. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.

The conference includes a panel session with Fiona Steed (Broadcaster, Columnist, Rugby Coach, Munster And IRFU Women’s Subcommittees), Joy Neville (Elite IRFU Rugby Referee), Meadhbh Lewis (IRFU Youth Council Chair).

Steed has been speaking in the media in recent weeks about pathways for women in rugby.

“What I have noticed in the grass roots is the strength of work that’s being done to promote rugby for girls,” she told Newstalk.

“We’re identifying girls at 16 that may be able to make the step up and we’ve done a lot of work around bringing them into camps, getting them used to an environment where they’re getting top class coaching together with like-minded girls from other clubs”

Steed is a Level 4 rugby coach and former Ireland international. She says the pathways for women into rugby are broadening.

“There’s a good talent ID programme there for them to get into sevens,” she continued. “That was never there in my day, so if you’re of that mind and of that skillset you can certainly look at rugby and say: “I could make a career out of that.”

“There’s the other side of it as well in terms of coaching and refereeing. We look at Joy Neville and what girl can’t say she wants to be a professional referee? There are a number of different facets of rugby that women can now aspire to. The pathways are much better whether it’s in the administrative side, the refereeing side or coaching.”

The theme of LiveWIRe is ‘Leadership Journeys of Women In Rugby’. Speaking about the event, Spirit of Rugby Programme Manager Anne Marie Hughes said.

It’s there in the name that LiveWIRe is about Women in Rugby. We want to celebrate the women who are rugby-makers in our community and show them that there are leadership pathways in place. LiveWIRe can act as a spark that will help accelerate the change we need.”

Tickets are available now on Eventbrite.ie

#LiveWIRe Women In Rugby Conference – “Leadership Journeys Of Women In Rugby”

Sunday March 8th 2020, 09:30 – 12:30

Lansdowne Suite, Herbert Park Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin.

Tickets: http://bit.ly/LiveWIRe

09:30 – 10:00  Registration (Tea & Coffee Served)

10:00 – 10:05  Opening Remarks from Mary Quinn, IRFU Committee 2019/2020

10:05 – 10:15   Leadership Goals

Chair of Sport Ireland’s Women In Sport committee Lynne Cantwell will outline Sport Ireland’s progress towards greater gender balance in Board membership of funded bodies and pathways for women aspiring to become leaders of funded bodies.

10:15 – 11:00  Panel : Seeing A Leader, Being A Leader

“Being the first always creates a pressure that you don’t want to be the last.”

More women are making breakthroughs into leadership roles in rugby, but it’s not always easy to be the first. Broadcaster Grainne McElwain will MC a panel discussion about navigating a journey of leadership. Conference attendees will be encouraged to ask questions and share their own stories of how they are leading in their respective fields.

Speakers: Fiona Steed (Broadcaster, Columnist, Rugby Coach, Munster And IRFU Women’s Subcommittees), Joy Neville (Elite IRFU Rugby Referee), Meadhbh Lewis (IRFU Youth Council Chair).

11.00 – 11.10  Break

11:10 – 11:55  Growing As A Leader

Karen Brown is a veteran of six Olympic games as both player and coach in field hockey. She was Assistant Coach to Team GB’s Olympic gold winning side of 2016.

In conversation with Su Carty, Karen will discuss the importance of people development skills and how she transitioned from being a leader on the pitch to being a leader off the pitch. Su Carty was World Rugby’s first Women’s Development Manager. She is a current member of the IRFU Union Committee and serves as an IRFU Representative to World Rugby.

11:55 – 12:05  Becoming A Leader

IRFU Spirit Of Rugby Manager Anne Marie Hughes will outline upcoming leadership development opportunities in Irish Rugby.

12:05 -12:10  Closing Remarks from Mary Quinn, IRFU Committee 2019/2020

12:10 – 12:30  Networking and Light Refreshment

12:30                 Depart For Energia Park

13:00                 Ireland v Italy, Women’s 6 Nations, Energia Park*

*All conference attendees also receive one ticket to Ireland v Italy, Women’s 6 Nations, Energia Park