Oceania rugby appoints first female representative

first_imgThe announcement was made in Fiji by Oceania Rugby President Richard Sapias.”I am delighted to announce that at our recent Oceania Rugby Board meeting – the directors and I unanimously appointed Fiji’s Cathy Wong to be Oceania Rugby’s first female representative to the World Rugby Council,” he said.”World Rugby as an outcome of its Council Meeting in November last year, in London, underscored its commitment to furthering gender equality at all levels of the organization by announcing sweeping reforms of its Council with an ambition of at least one-third women’s representation from 2018 onwards,” Sapias said.”Cathy’s appointment will give Women’s Rugby in the Oceania Region a louder voice to share the work that our Member Unions are doing to increase participation and involvement at all levels of the game,” he added.Sapias noted that through this historic and unprecedented decision spearheaded by Chairman Bill Beaumont, World Rugby has now increased the number of people who sit on Council – its highest decision-making body – from 32 to 49, with the 17 new representatives to be women.”This appointment will strengthen the recognition of women as Board directors and the value women bring into boards,” Cathy Wong said at the announcement.”It recognises the importance that World Rugby has placed women in the highest level of governance in rugby, the contribution we bring to the table and our contribution towards building an inclusive model of decision making,” she added.”I see this as a major breakthrough in changing the mind-set that women can be the best at whatever they choose to be,” she mentioned.”I would like to see us maximize the power of athletes as mentors and agents for change in issues like violence against women, harassment in sports, drugs in sports, safeguarding of athletes, the fight against NCD’s (Non-Communicable Diseases) in Oceania,” she added.In order to support that growth, promote greater parity at all levels across the sport and further strengthen and grow the game globally; the Council Meeting last year also ratified and approved a new strategic Women’s Plan.Rugby Services Manager Oceania, World Rugby and General Manager, Oceania Rugby Bruce Cook said,”Rugby’s popularity makes it an ideal platform to raise awareness, build understanding, adjust negative social norms, and support innovative solutions to promote gender-equality and to end violence against women and girls.””Cathy’s appointment on the back of this transformational reform – will change the way rugby is governed going forward; making a difference not just for women in rugby but for all of rugby,”Cook further added, “a record number of women’s team are now competing at national and international level.””Since 2015, almost 80 thousand girls in 14 Pacific Island countries have participated in “Get into Rugby” and in 2017, 56% of Get into Rugby participants were girls,” Cook said.”We place our utmost confidence and pledge our continued support to Cathy and congratulate her once again on her appointment, Cook added.Cathy has had a notable career in sports-medicine and was former Director of Physiotherapy for Fiji Rugby Union (FRU).FRU Chief Executive Officer John O’Connor said, “this is a historic milestone for FRU and likewise for rugby in Fiji as Cathy is the first Fijian woman or Fijian to be appointed to the World Rugby Council.””In 2016 we were proud to nominate Cathy as one of the independent members to the Oceania Rugby Council and we are so proud now to hear the announcement of her appointment to the World Rugby Council,” O’Connor added.”Congratulations to Cathy and we wish her all the best in her appointment to the World Rugby Council and we look forward to working with her in growing the women’s game in Fiji,” O’Connor concluded.last_img

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