Surge of interest in women’s rugby
The unprecedented growth has been driven by increases in women’s interest and participation in the sport along with surging enthusiasm in rugby’s emerging nations, with the number of rugby fans across the surveyed emerging nations up to 168 million, almost doubling since 2013 when the data began.
Across 36 surveyed markets, there were more than 140 million female rugby fans in 2019, which marks a 29 per cent increase since 2018, and Iran has been at the forefront of driving women’s rugby interest, with more women playing the sport than men. The number of registered players in Iran increased by 20 per cent from 10,000 to 12,000 between 2019-2020 and more than 7,000 of those are female.
Iran Rugby Federation Head of Women’s Rugby Development Nahid Biyarjomandi, who founded the first women’s rugby club in Iran, is an Unstoppable and her involvement in World Rugby’s global ‘Try And Stop Us’ campaign has had a positive impact in her homeland. Iran has been an associate member of World Rugby since 2013 and is a full member of Asia Rugby.
Burkina Faso is an up-and-coming West African rugby nation led by Union President Rolande Boro, who is also a Rugby Africa Executive Committee Member and World Rugby Council member. Boro is a participant on World Rugby’s Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarships program and an influential member of Rugby Africa’s Women’s Advisory Committee.
In turn, the Rugby Federation of Uzbekistan also pays attention to the development of women’s rugby in our country. In particular, there are recruits for women’s rugby teams in Tashkent. Also, training camps of women’s teams from all regions of the republic are held. Active work is underway to popularize this sport among women on social platforms. In addition, the involvement of a female coach-consultant from Kazakhstan by the Federation gives our athletes and interested people the motivation to develop women’s rugby in the Republic of Uzbekistan.