• Four candidates from Hong Kong, Laos, Sri Lanka and Indonesia have been awarded scholarships
  • 37 Executive Leadership Scholarships have been awarded worldwide since 2018
  • World Rugby recently extended the programme after game-changing outcomes
  • Scholarship programme is a key strand of the Accelerating the global development of women in rugby 2017-25 strategy

World Rugby and Asia Rugby today announced the four recipients awarded Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarships from the region in 2020.

Following the scholarship programme’s game-changing outcomes in its first two years, World Rugby recently announced an extension of the game-changing programme for 2020 with 12 new scholarships to be awarded globally.

Asia Rugby are the final region to appoint scholarships, with four recipients from Hong Kong, Laos, Indonesia and Sri Lanka today confirmed for 2020, with Asia having deferred their 2019 scholarship allocation.

World Rugby Executive Leadership Scholarship recipients in Asia:

  • Doris Chow (Hong Kong), Chairwoman of the Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Committee
  • Viengsamai Souksavanh (Laos), Lao Rugby Federation Operations Director
  • Rasika Warakagoda (Sri Lanka), Council member of Sri Lanka Rugby
  • Karina Soerjanatamiharja (Indonesia), Head of Women’s Rugby Indonesia, First Deputy Chair of Women’s Advisory Committee at Asia Rugby

The scholarship programme aligns with World Rugby’s transformational governance reform, which has resulted in women comprising more than a third of the international federation’s 52-strong Council.

The Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship programme is open to women who are currently involved in rugby at governance or senior management level or have the potential to be a senior manager within the sport or on a union or region board within two years.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “We would like to congratulate the four Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship recipients from the Asia Rugby region. The scholarship programme has demonstrated proven success in accelerating the normalisation of women in key leadership roles on and off the field aligned to our mission to grow Women’s Rugby and Women in Rugby.

World Rugby Women’s Advisory Committee Chairman Serge Simon added: “Congratulations to the latest scholarship recipients from the Asia Rugby region. The Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship programme has demonstrated proven success and is now having a direct impact globally.”

World Rugby General Manager for Women's Rugby Katie Sadleir added: “While World Rugby has made great strides in advancing gender balance across the global game, we believe there is more to achieve in this space and are committed to continuing to drive the agenda forward as we near the halfway point of our ambitious women’s development strategic plan in 2021.”