Nominations for the U.S. Women’s Rugby Foundation’s 2021 15 Under 30 Award are still open with the deadline extended until October 15, 2021!
The USWRF created this annual award to highlight and celebrate women under the age of 30 who exemplify the best qualities of rugby and bring those qualities to the field, to their teams, to the sport and to local and global communities.
Nominees will be reviewed by a selection committee made up of coaches, administrators, referees and journalists. The 2021 awardees will be announced November 29, 2021.
To nominate candidates you must be a WRCRA member.
Nominations Open - August 30, 2021
Nomination Deadline - October 15, 2021
Award Announcement - November 29, 2021
The 15 Under 30 Award is just one small way the USWRF is recognizing the work women are doing in rugby. We need to, and will do, more to recognize and celebrate so many in the women’s rugby community. The good news is the ‘gender’ landscape of US rugby continues to evolve. Women coaches can now be found at every level of the game from the staff of Major League Rugby teams to collegiate, high school, youth and club teams. Committee leadership at the local and national levels has evolved over the past few years from a modest representation of women to approximately 30% representation, a stated goal of the 2018 USWRF gathering.
Women of all ages are stepping up and digging in to assume a variety of roles at every level. Yet, regardless of where they work or what level they represent, they share similar stories of being overworked, under-appreciated, condescended to, talked over and dismissed.
As one administrator recently shared, “You'd think this was the U.S. Senate with the alliances, influencers, niceties, and truly ‘cut-throat-scorched-earth’ politics that people play into. It's difficult to advocate for change, because no one actually wants change. I believe this could've been a radical year for rugby but no one wants to be brave and try new things. A few people are doing some interesting things, but it's mostly more of the same.”
Yet, still they persist.
Women also said that while serving in administrative roles is exhausting, more women are needed. As stated, “What is really needed is for more women, especially ex- or current senior club women’s players to coach and administer local girls teams and also come into decision-making positions at the SYRO (State Youth Rugby Organization) level. Out of 46 SYROs only 9-10 have women in top leadership positions. We need more women involved in the Youth and High School game. Women who believe in the importance of the game and want to help the long-term growth of girls and women’s rugby.”
Beyond local and national administrative roles, many women are diligently creating opportunities for girls and women to play, coach and referee. In the past few years we’ve seen an increase in the number of girls all-star and select-side teams, camps, and showcase tournaments. More women are becoming certified by World Rugby as coach and referee educators, Girls Rugby Inc. is thriving, and ARPTC is taking a leading role in improving the quality of play and opportunities to play. Let’s all commit to doing things big and small to support these initiatives and most importantly the men and women who are working tirelessly on behalf of women’s rugby.
So here’s one small thing you can do now: talk with friends, colleagues and teammates. Identify those women who are working on behalf of rugby and thank them. Tell them you appreciate them and for those under the age of 30, nominate them for the 2021 USWRF 15 under 30 Award. Let’s have each other’s backs.