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RAN is currently accepting applications for the Women in Rugby Leadership Executive Development Scholarships. These World Rugby scholarships will support talented women who would like to further develop their leadership potential. Applications must be accompanied by an endorsement from the applicant’s home union, and must be submitted by January 31st.

Accelerating the Global Development of Women in Rugby is the overarching title of the new World Rugby Women’s Plan. This was considered by the World Rugby Council in November. The plan has five work streams covering:

  • Participation and Development
  • High Performance and Competitions
  • Inspirational Leadership
  • Profile and Positioning
  • Diversified Income

The goal for the Inspirational Leadership work stream is for “Rugby to be a global leader in sport with its governance and management processes setting the standard for good practice.  Inspirational role models will entice future leaders”

To work towards this goal World Rugby plans to identify and support the current and next generation of female leaders.

World Rugby will be working with Regions to award two Leadership Development Scholarships per Region for the next two years. The purpose behind the scholarship programme is to support talented women from the regions to further develop their Rugby Leadership potential. The scholarships are open to women who:

  • Are currently involved in rugby at a governance level (Board Member) or,
  • Are currently involved in rugby at a senior management level (third tier and above) or,
  • Have the potential to be involved in either a senior management level or Union/Region Board within 2 years.  

The scholarship can be used to support a combination of leadership development opportunities. These may range from; formal or informal education, conferences, workshops, mentoring, secondments, best practice study tours.  The components of the scholarship should be individually tailored to meet the professional development needs of those applying.

The value of each scholarship is £10,000. This funding can be used to cover travel, accommodation, course or conference fees and any other costs associated with the individual scholarship activity plan.   

There are many leadership development opportunities offered globally. The following list provides examples of the types of programmes that may be appropriate for candidates to consider.

This is a major international conference on Women in Sport which takes place every four years, run by the International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) The topic for this year conference is “Determine the future. Be Part of the Change”.

This is a programme offered in French, Spanish and English that is run in partnership between the Olympic Movement and academic institutions. It is scheduled over twelve months and consists of four blocks of 9 days residential modules.

WISLA is an international week long intensive leadership programme at the University of Chichester in the UK.  It is aimed at Senior Managers and Board members. There are 130 graduates from 34 countries across many sporting codes.

  • Courses on Good Governance Practices and the role of the Board

Workshops and short courses on good practice in governance are run by professional directors’ associations in many countries around the world.

  • Best Practice Study Tours

A self-determined international Best Practice Study Tour could be planned around a area of interest. For example, visit World Rugby in Dublin and or a couple of Unions to discuss and observe good practice and critical issues facing the game globally.

The WAoS delivers learning programmes for sports and event participants – athletes, managers, administrators, officials and coaches – through a series of tailored educational programmes.

This is an online flexible learning programme covering five modules covering various aspects of executive leadership development.

An application form is attached which captures the basic information required. The scholarship must be completed within the 2018 calendar year.  There will be a requirement for the recipients of the scholarships to report to both the Region and World Rugby on the outcomes and benefits gained. Individual applications must be supported and endorsed by your Rugby Union and submitted for consideration to the Rugby Americas North (at by January 31st 2018