Farrer & Co Women in Sport - Report - Page 13
Registered female players by 2021
Amy Wilson-Hardy and team celebrate scoring the second try at the Women’s Six Nations
match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium, February 2017.
This extends to sharing experience
of events and marketing. As a further
example we are planning a meeting to
focus on how we can get more women
into high performance coaching roles.
So whilst we learn lessons from
both the men’s game and other sports,
for example women’s football, we have
some steps on the journey to make
before we reach the same level of
professionalisation for players.
In particular, the TP15s has to
be sustainable. That means being
sustainable from a competition
perspective – we need the league to
be competitive and the product on the
pitch good. Also, the financial model
has to be sustainable. Achieving these
two aims will mean we can grow
audiences and increase the
commercialisation of the women’s
game, which in turn will grow its
income. To date, we have focused
on developing the infrastructure
and the product.
That point, where profile and
revenue generation are sustainably
up, is when clubs will be able to start
looking at contracts for players,
whether full-time or semi-professional.
Farrer & Co
With increased visibility
and changed perceptions,
a change in culture and
mindset will follow.
Circa 37,000 women
and girls are registered
to play rugby
We’re seeing the first steps towards it.
It is a feature of rugby that senior and
elite success are a driver for grassroots
participation. If the sport is not visible
and does not have a profile, then the
development at grassroots level is
probably not as quick as you might
We’re investing in making England
as successful as possible, because that
increases the profile of the game across
the board. That too should start to
increase revenues coming into the
game because of England Women.
The same applies to the TP15s. But it is
not just about revenues – that visibility
is an enormous help to the grassroots.
It changes perceptions.
Because of that, we are looking
at how to get more people to go and
watch the Red Roses. The location of
matches and how they are promoted
matters. Then the task is to make sure
the playing opportunities and the clubs
are visible and reachable for those girls
who go and watch the Red Roses and
are inspired by them. We still need
more clubs to offer rugby for girls.
The situation is hugely improved from
where it was, but there are still some
gaps around the country.
With increased visibility and
changed perceptions, a change in
culture and mindset will follow. Rugby
is historically a traditional male team
sport, and it takes a long time for
culture shift to create change. The
female game has seen significant
change in this area, particularly since
England hosted the Women’s Rugby
World Cup in 2010. Our clubs are
welcoming, inclusive and familyoriented. Many of those that have a
women’s or girls’ team have benefitted
not only from additional membership,
but a better family and community feel,
and what we would call a “balanced
club”. There are still challenges to face
and problems to solve, but that could
be said across all of women’s sport.