Bath Rugby have today unveiled the club’s commitment to the growth and sustainability of women and girls’ rugby in the region.
Following a considerable period of research, learning and discovery as to both the needs and the opportunities for the women and girls’ game, the club has outlined a road map for its growth, from grassroots to elite, culminating in an application to the Allianz Premier 15s with the formation of a new women’s team in partnership with Bath Rugby Ladies (part of Bath RFC).
A new three-year strategy outlines four transformational objectives to be achieved by 2023/2024:
PLAY: To double the number of registered players across our region, supported by the appointment of a new Women’s Rugby Development Lead
SUSTAIN: To develop a sustainable and inclusive pathway to the elite game across our region for players and coaches; achieved through partnering with clubs, schools and universities, and supported by the appointment of a new Pathway Lead
PERFORM: To form a professional women’s team, partnering with Bath Rugby Ladies, with the ambition of being ready to join the Allianz Premier 15s in the next licence cycle
PROMOTE: To promote female role models and raise the profile of the women and girls’ game across our region, leveraging the Club’s marketing and communication channels and those of our commercial partners to effect positive change
Speaking on today’s announcement, Bath Rugby Chief Executive Officer Tarquin McDonald said:
“Women and girls’ don’t have a clear pathway to the professional game, it’s one of the biggest barriers to entry and one of the many stark comparisons against the men’s game.
“What has been very important to us during this process, and will continue to be the case, is a sustainable approach. We want to ensure that the club is providing a pathway for the long-term growth of the women and girls’ game, one that helps drive demand for the sport, answers that demand with playing opportunities and harnesses increased participation into a pathway for a successful professional team.
“All those components need to work in harmony, and we are committed to our goals of doubling participation, building a sustainable pathway, and putting in place the foundations to launch a professional women’s team.
“We recognise that we’re behind other Gallagher Premiership teams and many other sports who are already competing in the elite levels, producing exceptional talent both domestically and internationally.
"Today’s announcement is about us taking responsibility for the future and ensuring that we effect positive sustainable change across our region.”
Head of Ladies Rugby at Bath Rugby Ladies, Sarah Burgess said:
“We want people to be inspired and entertained by the women’s game. We want to do the sport justice and provide role models for young girls to look up to, knowing that they can chose a career in the sport. Today marks a big step towards making that a reality.”