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World Rugby and Gallagher extend women’s academy partnership

March 07 2024 - News Release News Editorial

World Rugby and insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services firm Gallagher have extended a partnership to support the Gallagher High Performance Academy.

World Rugby and Gallagher extend women’s academy partnership

Launched ahead of the inaugural WXV 15s tournament in 2023, the aim of the academy is to accelerate the development of women’s rugby and increase the competitiveness of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, which is set to be staged in England. 

The Gallagher High Performance Academy will continue to focus on talent identification, professional support and championing the next generation of international coaches. Some 16 women, all of different nations, participated during the first academy last year. 

Following its initial success, the Gallagher High Performance Academy has been extended to all formats of the game. In 2024, all 10 women are rugby sevens coaches, and have worked with their respective nations for the HSBC SVNS Series.

The new recruits recently took part in a rugby coaching masterclass in Los Angeles, with live coaching sessions featuring players and coaches from local grassroots clubs.

A World Rugby spokesperson told Global Sustainable Sport: “World Rugby’s purpose is to grow rugby by making it more relevant and accessible to more people. Women’s Rugby is central to that vision as the single biggest opportunity to grow the game and move the needle.

“Through truly transformational programmes such as the Gallagher High Performance Academy and Capgemini Leadership programme, we continued to champion diversity, excellence, and inclusivity on and off the field. These programmes are smashing the door down for hundreds of female leaders, influencers, coaches and administrators, increasing visibility, showcasing powerful personalities and in turn delivering role models who inspire girls, boys and parents to get into rugby.”

“Through truly transformational programmes such as the Gallagher High Performance Academy and Capgemini Leadership programme, we continued to champion diversity, excellence, and inclusivity on and off the field." World Rugby

Elsewhere, in collaboration with business and technology transformation partner Capgemini, World Rugby has begun its search to find 25 inspiring female leaders through the Women in Rugby Leadership Programme.

Capgemini and World Rugby have traditionally awarded 12 scholarships each year, after the scheme was launched in 2018. A total of 73 scholarships have been awarded to female leaders from across the globe.

Ahead of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, World Rugby and Capgemini are aiming to inspire 25 female leaders. Scholars will be granted access to top learning programmes from Capgemini’s University offering, with each applicant paired up with a mentor.

Additionally, they are able to apply for a discretionary grant of up to £5,000 to help aid their development. The application process for the next intake of scholars is open until March 31.

“Capgemini’s leadership programme has been the cornerstone of my professional growth in project management, guiding me through the dynamic landscape of challenges and opportunities with invaluable mentorship, robust skill-building and a culture of innovation,” said Zakia Kulabako, 2023 Women in Rugby Leadership Programme alumni.

“It’s not just about mastering methodologies; it’s about fostering leadership excellence, empowering me to navigate complexities, inspire teams and drive impactful results that redefine success in the project management arena.”

Image: World Rugby

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