There was a successful launch for the IRFU Women In Rugby Network today with over 50 volunteers coming together for the first time to make connections and share their experiences in rugby.
Organisers are confident the inaugural event will serve as a springboard for a stronger and deeper network of female volunteers across the game.
“We’re already looking to build on today’s success and the next step is more networking events on a provincial basis,” said IRFU Spirit Of Rugby Manager Anne Marie Hughes.
“There was great energy in the room today. The network is exciting in its own right, but it also feeds into other initiatives such as the IRFU Women In Rugby Leadership Programme. It can really serve to generate more opportunities for women in rugby and help the IRFU to support their development.”
IRFU Women’s Development Manager Amanda Greensmith added:
“Today was massively encouraging for everyone involved – it was completely solutions focused.”
“You had volunteers at the start of the day feeling like some of the challenges they faced were unique to their situation. Once people started sharing, there was a realisation pretty quickly about how much we all have in common and how we can benefit from shared experiences.
“We’ll continue to collate the feedback, but there are themes emerging we can look at and see what solutions might help move things along.
“A lot of it comes down to supporting each other in environments that are predominately male. Everything tells us that females need to feel connected and need to feel part of something if we’re going to be involved.
“That’s what we’re building here – a community of support. We can celebrate our successes but also support each other when there are challenges or uncertainty about the best approach.”
“It’s also been really good to meet new people and put names to faces now that events like this are back in person. I think the most exciting thing is how we move forward from today enthused and energized about what’s next. This isn’t just about today. There’s an energy there to drive this at provincial level as well.”
Keep an eye on Irish Rugby channels on International Women’s Day 2023 for more news and reaction from the IRFU Women In Rugby Network launch as well as updates on upcoming opportunities to get involved in the network at provincial level.