January 31, 2014 (ISN) – IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset has predicted a stellar year for the Women’s Game as the Rugby family looks forward to Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 in France.
With the RBS Women’s 6 Nations kicking off a busy year of international Fifteens and Sevens action and global participation at an all-time high of 1.5 million, the stage is set for Women’s Rugby to reach out to new audiences around the world.
The IRB’s mission is to inspire more girls and women to take up the sport and with the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series demonstrating the global competitive nature of the sport ahead of its Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016, Lapasset is excited about the future of the Women’s Game.
“These are exciting times for the Women’s Game. This year’s Women’s Sevens World Series is already building on the great strides made last year and competition, viewership and attendance has all grown,” said Lapasset.
“Fifteens competition is also benefitting from increased participation and profile and I am looking forward to a competitive 6 Nations that will provide a taste of what to expect at Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 in France this August.”
“I’m delighted by the strong progress of Women’s Rugby across all continents. There are now more women and girls playing than ever before, as well as greater levels of international competition in Sevens and Fifteens.”
There are now almost 1.5 million women and girls actively participating in Rugby in countries on every continent. This accounts for more than a fifth of the world’s Rugby playing population, cementing the sport as one of the fastest growing team sports for Women.
Many of the girls were introduced to the sport via the IRB’s mass participation Get Into Rugby Programme, pointing to a bright future for the Women’s Game.
The IRB Get Into Rugby programme was developed with the support of international teams of experts from IRB Member Unions who have been delivering mass participation programmes in their Unions.
The programme has, for example, seen 12,000 participants sign up during the first 3 months in Germany, has been included in the Physical Education curriculum in Tonga and has been introduced to over 1,200 children in Mexico last year.