Source: Worcester Valkyries

Ground-breaking women’s World Rugby High Performance Academy in Stellenbosch

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World Rugby will break new ground in the development of the women’s game with the first women’s High Performance Academy taking place at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport in South Africa from 6-11 May.

The Academy will involve 43 delegates from 16 unions over a week long programme and forms a key element of World Rugby’s strategic plan to accelerate the global development of women in rugby and drive inspirational leadership on and off the field of play.

The High Performance Academy is aimed at building capacity within targeted unions by providing identified individuals with a bespoke learning opportunity in a high performance environment.

The participants are drawn from various strands of the high performance network, including coaches, match officials, strength and conditioning experts and high performance programme managers.

Women’s rugby is experiencing record growth with participation levels at an all-time high. With 9.6 million players recorded globally, latest player figures show total female players account for 2.7 million in World Rugby member unions, a 10% increase when compared with 2017.

In 2018, the total registered female players figure saw the biggest increase at 28% which equates to 581,000 players when compared with 2017.

Off the field of play, 2017 witnessed an historic and unprecedented decision as World Rugby increased the number of people who may sit on council – its highest decision-making body – from 32 to 49, with the 17 newly-created positions to be held by women.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont welcomed the initiative: “The development of women in rugby is the single greatest opportunity for our sport to grow in the next decade. The women’s High Performance Academy in Stellenbosch represents another important element of our organisation wide focus on elevating the women’s game and ensuring we create the opportunities for the development of women in rugby, both on and off the field of play.”

World Rugby High Performance General Manager Peter Horne said: “The Academy is designed to encourage interaction between the different strands of high performance individuals, including coaches, match officials and strength and conditioning experts. Importantly, to ensure the Academy acts as a catalyst for long term growth, participants will be supported by their strand leaders to develop an Individual Performance Plan specific to their development needs.”

World Rugby Women’s General Manager Katie Sadleir added: “As an inclusive sport, World Rugby is committed to gender balance and the women’s High Performance Academy is another important step on the journey for women in rugby.”

Courtesy of World Rugby