Katie Sadlier is World Rugby’s general manager of womens rugby, and there is an awful lot of corporate jargon and business speak in what she has to say, from intergrated development pathways to best practice governance standards, but I guess ever since the day a clearance kick became a defensive exit strategy there was no going back grammatically.
But in plain English, by 2025 the governing body has an ambition is to be a global leader in sport, where women have equal opportunities on and off the field play.
To this end “World Rugby Women’s Plan 2017-2025” is due to be cibsidered by the World Rugby Council in November.
I have been told that this plan has involved a consultation process involving fans, unions, regional associations and broadcast partners in an attempt to generate increased interest in the women’s game, attract new investment and maximise the sports commercial value.
There is no mention of the players being consulted, most of whom at this World Cup will end up severely out of pocket, and with all their annual leave used up, but sadly thats nothing new.
Women’s rugby is a sleeping giant, the queues of people outside the UCD Bowl last week begging for tickets to watch Ireland v Japan was something I hadn’t seen in rugby since Wales v France at Cardiff Arms Park in 1978.
The Irish Rugby Union could have trebled ticket sales for the pool stages of this years tournament had they chosen Donnybrook or a similar larger venue as opposed to University College.
Also media demands need to be met and catered for to spread the word, not just the newspaper journos but also those on social media and electronic mediums who with the touch of a button can bring the wonders of the great occasion to phones iPads and computers by the tens of thousands.
We await with interest the “World Rugby Women’s Plan 2017-2025” I’ve already got my dictionary on hand to decipher it.
If it mentions stakeholders, then mine’s a medium eight ounce rib eye.