TravelNewsAsia.com
Wed, 22 May 2019

Women in Rugby: Try and Stop Us

World Rugby has launched a new ‘Women in Rugby’ brand identity and ‘Try and Stop Us’ global campaign aimed at driving increased participation and engagement among fans, audiences, players and investors in the women’s game.

Action from Kazakhstan Women vs South Africa at the Cathay Pacific / HSBC World Rugby Hong Kong Sevens 2019. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

The global campaign, developed with the support of national unions and regions, uses striking imagery and the inspiring stories of 15 women and girls involved in rugby at all levels of the game from around the world, who are ‘unstoppable’. They have challenged barriers to participation and demonstrated how rugby has empowered them to get where they are today, both on and off the pitch.

Today (22 May), the World Rugby Council will convene with 17 female members in position for the first time – the largest- ever representation of women on Council – following the transformational governance reform that was introduced in 2017 as a result of World Rugby’s ambitious strategic global action plan, Accelerating the global development of women in rugby 2017-25.

Women’s rugby is experiencing unprecedented growth around the world.  Participation levels are at an all-time high with 2.7 million players globally – making up more than a quarter of the global playing population – and a 28% increase in registered players since 2017.

For the second year running, more young girls have got into rugby globally than boys and more than 40% of rugby’s 400 million fanbase are now female.

Scotland Women in action at the Cathay Pacific / HSBC World Rugby Hong Kong Sevens 2019. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said, "We firmly believe that the development of women in rugby is the single greatest opportunity for our sport to grow in the next decade. Not only is women’s rugby experiencing unprecedented growth around the world but we are well on the way to realising our vision of a more equitable game for all through the implementation of our ambitious strategic women’s action plan, which is having a transformational effect on all areas of the game. From the highest levels of the sport’s governance to grassroots participation, we are wholly committed to driving gender-balance and ensuring that women have equal opportunities both on and off the field, driving increased involvement and engagement in the women’s game from fans, audiences, players and investors."

Tears of joy as Brazil Women beat Scotland to win the Cathay Pacific / HSBC World Rugby Hong Kong Sevens 2019. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

The campaign has already transcended the world of rugby, gaining support from high profile individuals from the wider sporting and international community, including 39-time Grand Slam tennis champion Billie Jean King, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Dame Heather Rabbatts DBE, the first female independent director of The Football Association.

World Rugby Chief Executive, Brett Gosper, said, "The campaign – Try and Stop Us – is a call to action designed to drive engagement with the women’s game by showcasing unstoppable women in rugby around the world. It focuses on celebrating the unique values of rugby and aligns with our overarching message, Rugby Builds Character. We want to communicate to every female across that globe, that when you choose to start playing rugby, it has the power to make you unstoppable." 

Rugby pictures: Pictures from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2018 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015, Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong Kong, Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015, Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013, Pictures of Chartis Cup 2012 and Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.

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