Who’s Who at the WPG

/Who’s Who at the WPG
Who’s Who at the WPG2017-02-27T16:11:56+00:00

“We remain passionate about fairness,
opportunity, recognition and player welfare”

Mark Francis – Women’s Premiership Group

Mark Francis
Mark FrancisChairman
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What is your current job?

I am the Learning Director of the Star Commercial Academy.

How is this relevant to your role at the Women’s Premiership?

I bring experience of leading education and change programmes across Asia, USA, Latin America and Europe, and boy do we still need to change things!

What inspires you to be involved in Women’s Premiership Rugby?

After 35 years in women’s rugby I remain passionate about fairness, opportunity, recognition and player welfare. I reckon we are a really important Group of like-minded clubs, who can collectively change our sport.

Why is the Women’s Premiership important?

Without our drive and resilience women’s club rugby would remain under-funded, under-valued and under the radar.

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Jan Anastasi
Jan AnastasiSecretary
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What is your current job?

I am a head teacher, I work for a County Council trying to make sure children and young people who are out of education are re engaged with learning.

How is this relevant to your role at the Women’s Premiership?

Well its all about getting people to collaborate together to achieve good outcomes, but I was also a director of the Rugby Football Union for Women when it existed and that experience is very relevant to my role with WPR now

What inspires you to be involved in Women’s Premiership Rugby?

To see any women’s and girl’s sport recognised more and more . To help get women’s and girl’s rugby as a whole, get greater exposure to sports fans and secure greater support for the women’s and girl’s game

Why is the Women’s Premiership important?

To showcase the high standard of women’s rugby in England inspiring others to join in. To make sure the players and clubs are heard and given a voice.

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Heidi Mercer-Chapman
Heidi Mercer-ChapmanVice Chair
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What is your current job?

I am the CEO of Bristol Ladies Rugby, I have a paid role at Bristol Rugby solely looking after the Ladies section and I am currently the Vice Chair of the WPG.

How is this relevant to your role at the Women’s Premiership?

I am very fortunate to work within the Women’s Premiership, having been involved at Bristol Ladies for nine years and in my paid role for two. I manage everything from player welfare to securing and managing club contracts, sponsorship to back office staff recruitment and volunteer management to community projects.  I hope this gives me an insight into what the game needs for it to achieve its aspirations.

What inspires you to be involved in Women’s Premiership Rugby?

I am driven to see the Women’s Premiership taken seriously, given the same opportunities as our counterparts and be really celebrated within mainstream media.

For me, player welfare is key. With most working or studying full time, managing intense training programs, club commitments and some sort of life away from the sport they love, all whilst self-funding their way through the player pathway. The 2015 England 7s contracts were a step in the right direction but we need to extend the support offered to our premiership players; offering them legal, medical and welfare support.

That’s what I want for all of our Women’s Premiership players. Its what inspires me and what I fight for.

Why is the Women’s Premiership important?

With the grassroots level of W&G rugby growing year on year the Women’s Premiership is an inspiration to many young players. The community programs within clubs are run by players for players with the aim of motivating the next generation to achieve their goals, whatever they may be.

Rugby is an inclusive game, without barriers and the Women’s Premiership offers a platform to really celebrate female sport and all that is great about it: passion, commitment, energy and pride.

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Rhiannon Chandler-Day
Rhiannon Chandler-DayBrand Manager
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What is your current job?

I am the Communications and Social Media Executive, managing PR and Communications for Premiership Rugby.

How is this relevant to your role at the Women’s Premiership?

As the Brand Manager for the Women’s Premiership, I am able to support engagement across the league through planning, briefing and executing relevant PR strategies and building social media engagement and developing channel growth across our platforms.

What inspires you to be involved in Women’s Premiership Rugby?

From the age of six, my Dad started taking me to watch rugby matches with close family friends and I fell in love with the sport.

I learnt to play rugby eight years ago and I’ve played scrum-half for Great Shelford and Teddington RFC, before joining their coaching set up in 2015 and I’m now a qualified level 2 coach.

Why is the Women’s Premiership important?

It’s such a pivotal time for women’s sport, I feel it’s time we really push the word out there about how phenomenal our players are, knowing that we are the highest quality club rugby league in the world.

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Claire Purdy
Claire PurdyWelfare Officer
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What is your current job?

Insurance Underwriter for Zurich Municipa

How is this relevant to your role at the Women’s Premiership?

To be completed.

 

What inspires you to be involved in Women’s Premiership Rugby?

Having had amazing opportunities through rugby and been able to play at the highest level I wanted to be able to give back a little of what rugby has given me and this seemed a perfect way to do so.

Why is the Women’s Premiership important?

To enable our game to grow we need to be able to use the Women’s Premiership to showcase what the game has to offer for all ages and abilities.

Also for those aspiring to play internationally it is one of the best leagues in the World in which to face World Class opposition and to play and train alongside those that have and or are achieving their dreams.

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Tamara Taylor
Tamara TaylorCurrent Player
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What is your current job?

Community Rugby Coach for the RFU (and I’m an England player)

How is this relevant to your role at the Women’s Premiership?

Playing rugby for England and club means I have a good overview of both parties. Working for the RFU, as a community coach, means I also see and work with community level clubs and teams and will hopefully allow me to have a good perspective on the game from a grassroots and development side as well.

What inspires you to be involved in Women’s Premiership Rugby?

I’ve played in the premiership for over ten years and I’ve played against and alongside many different players during that time. I’d love to help shape the premiership so the girls can get the best and the most out of playing top level club rugby in England. It’s these players, and seeing how hard they work to be the best they can be, without much support, is what inspires me to be a part of the WPG.

Why is the Women’s Premiership important?

We have a brilliant standard of competition in the women’s premiership, that players from other countries want to join. It allows international, aspiring international and grassroots players who love rugby to play across the country and challenge themselves.

It’s a super important part of club rugby and vital we keep growing the competition and getting the support these players deserve.

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Sian Hobday
Sian HobdayActivation Manager
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What is your current job?

PR Account Manager

How is this relevant to your role at the Women’s Premiership?

I am immersed in the world of media and communications on a daily basis, whether that be writing articles, blog posts, managing social media platforms or chatting with journalists.

My role requires me to be able to construct a narrative and find the right hooks in media activity for the press. I understand media demands and how to engage with audiences with the right messages.

What inspires you to be involved in Women’s Premiership Rugby?

I am a huge rugby fan and have been a player for nearly 10 years, having picked up a rugby ball for the first time time at Plymouth Albion thanks to my Dad, and am currently a player at Richmond.

Being involved with Women’s Premiership Rugby gives me the chance to work with the best teams in the country, which is pretty cool!

It’s hugely exciting to be part of Women’s Premiership Rugby at a time like this when women’s sport is really starting to take off. To be part of it at the early stages and have the chance to make an impact on its growth and success is very special.

There have been  so many developments already in women’s rugby and I want to help put premiership rugby on the world sport map by adding my skills where I can.

Why is the Women’s Premiership important?

The Women’s Premiership is a core part of the women’s game in England. Some of the most exciting, fiercely competitive club games happen in this league, showcasing the best skills in the women’s game.

The more professional and competitive we can make it, the more players can develop their game and make their mark in world rugby. With players from all home nations playing in the premiership, it has huge implications for the national teams.

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John 'Max' Maxwell
John 'Max' MaxwellWeb Manager
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What is your current job?

MD of RuckinRugby

How is this relevant to your role at the Women’s Premiership?

I initiated the first Women’s Premiership website & have been involved in the development and promotion of it ever since.

What inspires you to be involved in Women’s Premiership Rugby?

Rugby is a huge part of my life and after meeting Catherine Spencer some years ago, I became interested in the Women’s game at the highest level. The World Champion team of 2014 were something very special and I immediately became aware of how important our domestic game would become in maintaining the sort of national side that I, and many others love to watch. This inspired me to do whatever I can to promote the Women’s Premiership.

Why is the Women’s Premiership important?

The Women’s Premiership is the pinnacle of domestic club rugby for women. Nothing in the world matches it, and we should be very proud of that. It also provides the arena in which our future international stars are developed, it isn’t magic – the elite level of domestic competition is an important stepping stone in all sports and the Women’s Premiership is just that.

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