Lunyolo (Kratos pic)

Uganda Rugby Union (URU) Executive Committee Women Representative Regina Lunyolo has been awarded a World Rugby Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship program.

The program that received about 100 applicants globally saw only 14 women from different unions awarded scholarships, an increase from the 10 who were awarded last year.

The application process was overseen by regional associations and all five continents are represented. Lunyolo is the Chairperson of the Uganda Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee and the Gender Equality committee member as well as a member on the Diversity commission of the Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC).

She is one of the two Africans to get this opportunity –the other being Edvige Manga, the Deputy Secretary General of Senegal Rugby Union.

The first phase of the program is the Oceania women’s rugby leadership workshop and Lunyolo embarked on the journey to Fiji last Friday.‘I will be making a presentation at the workshop as well as lobbying for support towards the growth of women rugby in Uganda,” Lunyolo noted. The scholarship program is intended to driving inspirational leadership and fast tracking the development of women in rugby on and off the pitch.

The program is in line with global development of women in rugby 2017-25 strategy. It intends to support talented women worldwide to further develop their rugby leadership potential and ensure that rugby is a global leader in sport.

Serge Simon, the Chairman of the World Rugby Women’s Advisory Committee congratulated all who were awarded scholarships this year.

“The scholarships programme is a fantastic way of empowering the current and next generation of global female leaders in rugby,” he told the World Rugby website.

Year one of the Accelerating the global development of women in rugby 2017-25 strategy has seen important advances both on and off the field.

These include a 28 per cent increase in registered female playing numbers and the implementation of the transformational governance reforms which saw the introduction of an additional 17 seats for women on the World Rugby Council with the aim of increasing its diversity.

2019 World Rugby Executive Leadership Scholarship recipients

Cate Sexton (New Zealand): Head of Women’s Rugby Development at New Zealand Rugby

Vela Naucukidi (Fiji): Women’s Development Manager for Fiji Rugby Union, former President of the Fiji Women’s Rugby Union (2007-12) and current Secretary since 2013

Jane Schmitt (Australia): Director and board member of Queensland Rugby Union

Cybele Druma (Papua New Guinea):Former CEO of Papua New Guinea Rugby Football Union and President of the National Capital District Rugby Union

Gemma Fay (Scotland): Head of Girl’s and Women’s Rugby with Scottish Rugby

Katharina Kueß (Austria): Vice-President and head of women’s rugby in Austria, a player and coach

Annelies Acda (Netherlands): Rugby Nederland Board member and Rugby Europe Women’s Rugby Committee member

Irina Arkhytska (Ukraine): Secretary General for Ukraine Rugby Union

Regina Lunyolo (Uganda):Chairperson of the Uganda Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee and committee member for the Gender Equality and Diversity commission of the Uganda Olympic Committee

Edvige Manga (Senegal): Deputy Secretary General of Senegal Rugby Union

María Fernanda Vázquez Villatoro (Mexico): Manager and Board member at Wallabies Rugby Football Club Mexico

Lauren Rothwell (Bermuda): Board Member and Public Relations Officer for Bermuda Rugby Union and national team player

Lettizia Alcaraz (Argentina):Women’s Rugby Development Manager of the Northeast Rugby Union and former international player

Soledad Galleguillos (Chile):Development Manager of Women’s Rugby and former international player for Chile, coach and educator

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