Rugby: a sporting role model Women in Rugby

On Thursday 6 June 2017, the European Parliament Rugby Union Group organized its third “Rugby: a sporting role model” meeting on “Women in Rugby”.


The Women Rugby World Cup 2017 will be held in August in Ireland. In that context, EPRUI wants to give more visibility to women in rugby. Several speakers from European institutions, rugby federations and clubs were invited to present their experiences of coaching, playing or developing women’s rugby.

The conference was divided into two parts; the first focused on the role of the European institutions on the place of women in rugby: the second on professional experiences.

If women’s rugby tends to develop, whether in practice or in media terms, many difficulties remain. Madeleine Lahti, Vice-President of Rugby Europe, Chair of the Rugby Union and President of the Swedish Rugby Union (Svenska Rugbyförbundet), had the opportunity to recall the problems of governance and the disparities between men and women in the rugby. Women have little or no presence in the governance of this sport, although they are increasingly numerous every year

Nevertheless, even if the European institutions carry out sporting actions, through the Erasmus + program, Yves Le Lostecque, Head of the Sport Unit, European Commission, has pointed out that there is no specific policy in this area; whereas Europe has only limited competence with regard to the principle of subsidiarity protecting the Member States’ capacity for action and decision-making; since the European institutions can only intervene if the objectives of the actions of the Member States cannot be sufficiently achieved.

The second part of the conference provided an opportunity for professionals to share their experiences. In particular, the difficulties related to the existence of sports facilities, clubs and financing were mentioned. The Women’s Rugby World Cup to be held this summer in Ireland can be a tremendous opportunity for women’s rugby to continue its climb. Sport and Citizenship had the pleasure of participating in this meeting which highlighted the place of women in sport, and in particular in rugby. And women’s sport, in general, is a subject on which Sport and Citizenship is committed.[1]


[1] Women, Sport and Media coverage in Europe : the « television without frontiers » directive : for a better media coverage of women’s sport, Sport & Citizenship, 2013

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