The inaugural Women in Rugby leadership workshop, dubbed Grassroots to Global Series took place in Nairobi on Friday and Saturday.
It was not only the first in Kenya but also in the continent. The workshop was attended by 16 ladies involved in rugby across the country, ranging from coaches, medical officials, club managers, journalists, and women in leadership roles.
It was formed as part of World Rugby’s wider strategic goal to achieving equity on and off the field.
Journalist Carol Radul was one of the high profile keynote speakers at the workshop. Radull inspired the ladies to soar to greater heights despite being in male dominated field.
Radull encouraged the women in leadership pioneering group to move unapologetically and make a difference at the all levels.
KRU board directors member Peris Mukoko who is a champion for women in the game was also in attendance. To Peris, the workshop was a forum for ladies to point out some of the challenges they face in the game, and come up with ways to overcome them.
“This was a workshop purely for women. It was meant to identify some of the barriers that women face when it comes to rugby, and their enablers so that they are able to overcome their barriers. The whole theme is to get more women inspired when it comes to rugby both the players and technical bench,” she said.
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To reach to the level of a board director, Peris has been involved in various aspects of the game such as playing, officiating, and organization. She recently vied for the position of Vice Chair but narrowly lost to Moses Ndale.
Also in attendance was the Chairman Kenya Rugby Union Oduor Gangla. The Chairman acknowledged that women’s rugby is making positive steps.
He congratulated clubs like Nakuru RFC, Mwamba Rugby Club, Impala Saracens and KCB Rugby, who support women in Rugby, and urged other clubs to take up the initiative of supporting girls in rugby.
Gangla also mentioned that this workshop will help create a new chapter for Kenya Rugby women and assured the ladies a hundred percent support.
Helping to achieve equity on and off the field
Delivered as part of World Rugby’s wider strategic goal to achieving equity on and off the field, the workshop was a resounding success with women in Rugby coming with different challenges and possible solutions. They were given guidance, advice, and hope that one day gender will no longer be an issue or part of the conversation.
An unforgettable experience
Knight Otuoma, captain Impala ladies, was grateful to all organizers for putting the interest of ladies at heart. The Kenya Lionesses prop who last played on 24th October last year during the World Cup Qualifier match against Colombia believes that women should be go getters.
“I have learnt teamwork, and if you want something you should just go for it.”
As a leader, Otuoma expressed hope in women’s rugby through such workshops.
“I hope we will have more workshops like these, to help sharpen our leadership skills as women in rugby. They will be a major stepping stone to the success of women in rugby.”
The next workshop will be held again in March 2023.