WRU status update – 08/07/20
Chair Gareth Davies acknowledges some of the most important senior figures in the boardrooms of Welsh rugby and also sends his sympathies accross the Severn and beyond, plus updates from around the game in Wales and more in the latest WRU Status Update:
We have, naturally, used these pages to talk directly about Welsh rugby, our community game and how it has been and will be affected by the current international health crisis.
Of course we can’t talk about the club game without talking about the international game, the two are interlinked, but in the same way we can’t talk about the Wales without thinking of the global rugby scene.
I’d like to take a second to express heartfelt sympathy for anyone in our industry, or those affiliated to it, who may be experiencing hardship.
We have heard news this week from across the Severn that a series of redundancies will be forced upon the RFU and closer to home there are many people throughout Wales who will be worried about potential job cuts announced by their employer.
These are difficult times, we remain singularly determined to ensure Welsh rugby emerges intact from this current crisis, but we also wish our many friends and colleagues well.
Further potential investment in the game could of course help and it is widely known that, over the past year, Six Nations has been involved in exclusive negotiations with CVC Capital Partners. But it is important to note that there is no set timeline for the completion of this process. If any agreement were to go ahead, it would not be accelerated due to challenges presented by the current external environment. Discussions are confidential, but we will keep everyone updated as and when we can, for now the full statement on the subject from Six Nations can be found below.
I must extend the congratulations of everyone on the Welsh Rugby Union Board to one of our number, Amanda Blanc, who also chairs our Professional Rugby Board. Amanda was appointed as CEO of Aviva plc this week and is one of only six women to be currently at the helm of a FTSE 100 company. We are delighted that she will be staying in her volunteer position with the PRB. She is one of five women who sit in senior positions in Welsh rugby alongside Aileen Richards, Liza Burgess, Marianne Okland and Julie Paterson. This impressive series of individuals feature in turn on the WRU Board, the PRB, the World Rugby Council and our executive board, with most sitting across more than one of each.
We take no responsibility for the impressive careers that have led these individuals to their current roles, each has been appointed – or elected in the case of Liza Burgess – on their own merits, but I do think we should take pride in ourselves as an organisation that we now have five senior female figures contributing to Welsh rugby in this way.
We are particularly proud of Liza’s achievement as the first elected female national director to join the WRU Board in 130 years of history, but hope that more will follow. Next, we would also like to see one of the many women at the forefront of the community game in Wales elected to our Board as a district representative.
To literally rise up from our club-base, if you like.
Yours in rugby,
Six Nations statement
Over the past year, Six Nations has been involved in exclusive negotiations with CVC Capital Partners. These negotiations have been very constructive and forward thinking.
Negotiations of this nature are complex. They can take significant time and at this point, are still ongoing. An agreement is not to be expected imminently and it would be inaccurate to present it as a formality.
There is no set timeline for completion of this process, and any agreement, if it were to go ahead, would not be accelerated due to any potential challenge presented by the current external environment.
GOING FOR GOLD
Welsh rugby can be proud of its efforts to become more inclusive towards young people and adults with additional needs.
That is the view of many within the sport, political and education sectors as the governing body aims to become the first to achieve Disability Sport Wales’ insport Gold equality standard.
The WRU Disability Rugby Strategy was published just over two years ago with the clear aims of becoming a more inclusive sport for all with a ‘Jersey for All’ culture throughout the game and ensuring everyone in Wales has a chance to be involved with the national sport [LINK ].
Rapid yet sustainable progress has been made in that short amount of time and community and education-based inclusive opportunities have seen a marked rise.
There are now mixed ability rugby teams for adults and Inclusive Community Clubs for young people in every rugby region.
Our workforce has become skilled at delivering inclusive opportunities and the Hub Programme has seen hub officers offering rugby opportunities to young people all abilities within their schools and to neighbouring SEN schools.
These growing relationships have had numerous benefits with learners themselves become qualified rugby leaders and delivering some of the rugby activities, extending the inclusive rugby workforce.
We now offer Wheelchair Rugby opportunities throughout Wales having secured a bank of purpose-built rugby wheelchairs and trained staff, apprentices and community coaches throughout Wales. STORY
Close relationships have been forged with affiliated organisations such as GBWR and Wales Deaf Rugby Union to grow those opportunities.
We have ensured mixed ability and inclusive opportunities are central to our major national calendar of events, such at the Road to Principality series of community festivals and matches at Principality Stadium and at Urdd WRU 7s events, through a hugely successful partnership with Chwaraeon yr Urdd. There is also an SEN element of the WRU Digital Classroom resource, available to all schools.
There has also been a huge growth in Walking Rugby, a new format of the game which greatly benefits physical and mental well-being, especially amongst older or socially isolated groups.
Having achieved the insport ribbon and bronze equality awards in 2018, the WRU gained the silver standard last November and is now going for gold.