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Fiji Rugby Union’s Women Develop­ment Manager Vela Naucukidi Gets World Rugby Scholarship

This is a move where World Rugby has renewed its commitment to driving in­spirational leadership and fast-tracking the development of women in rugby on and off the pitch through its successful women’s executive leadership scholar­ship programne.
14 Mar 2019 10:12
Fiji Rugby Union’s Women Develop­ment Manager Vela Naucukidi Gets World Rugby Scholarship
Vela Naucukidi.

Fiji Rugby Union’s women develop­ment manager Vela Naucukidi is one of the 14 recipients of the 2019 World Rugby executive leadership scholarship.

Naucukidi started her career as a rugby writer with Teivovo magazine where she was involved in the setting up of women rugby in the country before joining FRU.

This is a move where World Rugby has renewed its commitment to driving in­spirational leadership and fast-tracking the development of women in rugby on and off the pitch through its successful women’s executive leadership scholar­ship programne.

According to World Rugby, they had re­ceived more than 100 applications glob­ally, this year.

The highly sought-after World Rugby Executive Leadership Scholarships have been awarded to 14 women from differ­ent unions, an increase on the 10 that were awarded last year.

Working in conjunction with the re­gional associations, who oversee the application process, the scholarship pro­gramme will offer more opportunities for leadership development for its mem­ber unions and regional associations.

A key strand of the Accelerating the global development of women in rugby 2017-25 strategy, the scholarship pro­gramme objectives aim to support tal­ented women worldwide to further de­velop their rugby leadership potential and ensure that rugby is a global leader in sport.

The recipients from Oceania:

– 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.

Other 2019 World rugby executive lead­ership scholarship recipients:

– 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 (Netherlands) 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, former interna­tional player

– Soledad Galleguillos (Chile): develop­ment manager of women’s rugby and former international player for Chile, coach and educator

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beau­mont congratulated the 14 successful re­cipients of this year’s

World Rugby women’s executive leader­ship scholarships.

“Significant strides have been made across the women’s game since the in­ception of the ambitious women’s de­velopment plan and the scholarship program has been at the heart of the success story,” he said.

“With an unprecedented number of ap­plications and an increase in recipients this year, positive steps are being made forward in our commitment to fast track the development of women in rugby.”

Serge Simon, chair of the World Rugby women’s advisory committee, said the scholarships program is a fantastic way of empowering the current and next generation of global female leaders in rugby.

World Rugby general manager of Wom­en’s Rugby Katie Sadleir said

“By supporting women in rugby to ac­cess more learning opportunities that will advance their leadership develop­ment, we are promoting greater parity within our sport.”

Edited by Grace Narayan

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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