Twenty-five union and federation representatives will attend Sudamérica Rugby’s first Women in Rugby Forum in Asunción, Paraguay, on Thursday and Friday.

Katie Sadleir, World Rugby’s General Manager of Women’s Rugby, will be in attendance for the two-day forum, which will incorporate a number of workshops dedicated to specific areas of the game with presentations by both Sudamérica Rugby and World Rugby.

The stated goals include:

  • Highlight the inclusion of women in rugby in South America and the huge advances made so far
  • Disseminate and raise awareness of World Rugby’s strategic women’s plan, Accelerating the global development of women in rugby 2017-25, and its role in South America
  • Construct the region’s women’s development plan for sevens and 15s
  • Detect and identify female leaders on and off the field that can add value to the region in the long-term future
  • Exchange good practices and strategies among unions and federations, for the growth of women’s rugby
  • Create a network that will help generate change within the female community
  • Joint construction of a global development plan for South America to present to Sudamérica Rugby’s Executive Council.

Four of the recipients of the World Rugby Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship from the region – Marjorie Enya (Brazil), Maria Catalina Palacio Gaviria (Colombia), Lettizia Alcaráz (Argentina) and Soledad Galleguillos (Chile) – will also be sharing their experiences, while Fernanda Vázquez Villatorio of Mexico – one of the Rugby Americas North region recipients – will also be in attendance. 

World Rugby Council member Alejandra Betancur, along with Palacio Gaviria and Enya, were heavily involved in planning and organising the forum which includes representatives from 10 different countries in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru, Paraguay, Venezuela and Mexico.

“The first Sudamérica Rugby Women in Rugby Forum is very important for the growth of women’s rugby across the region as it will provide us with tools, a projection and clear lines towards where we want to lead women’s rugby,” explained Palacio Gaviria.

“Women with different roles in their countries will be in attendance, and there will be presentations about a range of issues that will help us to take the next step towards the growth of the game in the region together.”

Following the conclusion of the forum, a top-level sevens tournament will be held at the Estadio Héroes de Curupaytí over the weekend. Nine of the 10 national teams that will compete in the regional Olympic qualification tournament in Lima, Peru, in June will be taking part in an event that should produce some superb entertainment at the end of an important week for women’s rugby in South America.