LOTUS fund charity partnership to inspire more women & girls to play rugby
London Welsh Women’s team to be sponsored by global charity Inspiring Girls as part of a two-year plan to attract new players to the club
London, Thursday 1st February 2018: Two days before the 2018 six nations tournament, PR Company LOTUS has launched a ground-breaking partnership with global charity Inspiring Girls and women’s rugby team London Welsh Women to attract more women and girls to play rugby.
As a charity, Inspiring Girls is dedicated to raising aspirations by connecting girls (aged 10-15) with female role models. The charity inspires them to aim high and work hard, supporting them to make choices free from any stereotypes. Recent surveys in the UK show that by the age of six years old, children start looking at jobs as female and male and by 13 they have already discarded some jobs based on gender stereotypes – this is particularly common in sport.
The sponsorship will run for the rest of this season and all next season; during this time interviews with the women’s team will feature on the Inspiring Girls website, as one of the many resources designed to engage and inspire girls. A special limited number of shirts will be available to buy in the 2018/19 season.
London Welsh Women’s team is one of the earliest women’s rugby clubs. A force on and off the pitch the team consists of players from a range of careers including a policewoman, teacher, accountant, NHS project manager, lawyer, physiotherapist and financial analyst.
Sarah Johnson, CEO LOTUS said: “LOTUS appointed Inspiring Girls as our company charity in 2017. By bringing together Inspiring Girls and London Welsh Women we hope to break down existing gender stereotypes around women in sport, and encourage young girls to consider playing rugby – either professionally or for fun.
Inspiring Girls Founder, Miriam González Durántez, said: “This is not just a network of sportswomen but a group of highly inspiring role models. They are a fantastic example for girls worldwide: in addition to their impressive career paths, they are all committed to sport as a way to improve personal performance; and their team skills are a key factor to their success on and off the pitch. This is a terrific partnership and we are delighted to have LOTUS supporting Inspiring Girls.”
Telling her own story, Captain Zoe Jeanes explained “I never really enjoyed sport at school. Then I was introduced to rugby by a friend and felt I had come home. Fitness, strength, team work and a huge laugh, it is the best thing that happened to me. Tall, short, fast, not so fast, whatever your build, there is a home for you in rugby.”
In 2016 the England RFU committed to raise the number of women who play rugby to 50,000 by 2019. London Welsh is keen to be at the forefront of this recruitment drive and hopes the collaboration with Inspiring Girls will help draw attention not only to the charity’s overarching mission but to also encourage women and girls to consider rugby as their sport of choice. As part of the recruitment drive the club will be holding an Inner Warrior events for women to try rugby.
LOTUS has also committed to raising additional funds over the period of the sponsorship. Funds raised will be used to further Inspiring Girls’ expansion plans – the charity currently operates in Spain, Serbia, Italy, Chile and Brazil, with many more countries wanting to join the campaign.
Photo credit: Steve Dunlop Photography @dunlopphotography