World Rugby awards two African women rugby leaders the 2021 Women’s Executive Leadership scholarships


World Rugby awards two African women rugby leaders the 2021 Women’s Executive Leadership scholarships

As more and more women at the forefront of the sports industry, Rugby Africa ( has positioned itself to continue to drive women’s involvement in the game, including leadership, by announcing on the occasion of International Women’s Day the first two recipients of 2021 in Africa. Scholarships for executive leadership of women.

This incredible opportunity allows two women from Africa to join the ten remaining women from around the world, who will each receive a scholarship of £ 10,000 for leadership development support for formal or informal education, conferences, forums, mentoring and study tours on best practices. Each scholarship will be tailored to meet the professional development needs of successful applicants.

The scholarships are open to women who:

  • Are currently involved in rugby at the governance level (member of the Union / regional board of directors) or,
  • Are currently involved in rugby at the senior management level (reporting to CEO at third level and above)


  • Have the potential to be involved


With all eyes on the award and having carved out a reputation for local rugby in their respective countries, recipients Peris Mukoko from Kenya and Abigail Mnikwa from Zimbabwe proudly display their flags when it comes to women leaders in the sport.

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Passionate about promoting young women in rugby, Mukoko has all the assets to lead this initiative. Currently board member of Kenya Rugby Union, Certified World Rugby educator (first female in Kenya and third in Africa), Rugby Africa Unstoppable Campaign Ambassador (2020), active level 2 rugby referee (since 2008 ), and recently co-opted into the Rugby Africa Referees Committee as a representative of the Interim Referees Association, Mukoko is ready to take her knowledge and leadership skills to the next level.

“I am delighted to be accepted on this prestigious scholarship. This scholarship will definitely help me develop my skills as a mentor, as well as my project management skills. Leading the proposed program, for young girls, will be a challenge for me, but it will allow me to grow as an administrator in the game of rugby and as a person. I hope to gain a better understanding of grassroots rugby in Kenya while traveling, as the proposed program is intended to take place outside of Nairobi, ”said Mukoko.

Equally talented and experienced, Mnikwa has worked with the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) for the past 14 years as a physiotherapist and sports administrator. Sitting on the Zimbabwe Rugby Union Board of Directors, Mnikwa is also President of Zimbabwe Women’s Rugby, chairs the ZRU Covid-19 Rescue Committee and is a World Rugby medical trainer.

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Recently, Mnikwa was appointed to Rugby Africa’s Women’s Rugby Advisory Sub-Committee for Leadership, Training and Conferencing.

“It is an honor to be accepted and recognized by Rugby Africa. I am really touched by this recognition. With my main goal of continuing to raise the bar for women in rugby and amplify the medical brotherhood of rugby, I am determined to use this scholarship to sharpen my skills and understanding so that I can move the dial in my areas of focus. goals, ” Mnikwa said.


Wishing the two women good luck, the Chair of the Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee, Paula Lanco, said she was delighted that African women are rising to the challenge of becoming leaders, on and off the pitch.

“Rugby is a sport, not a genre”. As such, my vision is to see African rugby women compete against each other on the world stage. The Rugby Africa Women’s Executive Leadership Fellowships 2021 are a valuable tool for our women to advance and progress in rugby. Peris and Abigail have started a journey that will only catapult them into the brotherhood.

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Congratulating the women on their acceptance, 2019 Rugby Africa Executive Leadership Fellowship recipient for Women and Chair of the Women’s Rugby Advisory Board Leadership and Training Subcommittee, Regina Lunyolo, said the scholarship benefits would exceed the expectations of the two women.

“The scholarship program is a fantastic way to empower the current generation and the next generation of world rugby leaders. Women sharing the space with their male counterparts will not be a differentiator, but rather as a top professional who shares the same passions for the game. ”

Women’s Rugby Africa director Maha Zaoui shared similar sentiments, noting that the scholarships were indeed a stimulus.

“ A former recipient of the 2018 Rugby Africa Women’s Executive Leadership Fellowship myself, I have grown in areas I never imagined. It laid the foundation for my success to date and my ability to change women’s rugby. Thanks to this scholarship, I entered the MEMOS program, which is an Executive Masters of Sport Organizations (Management), managed by the International Olympic Committee. Peris and Abigail are on a good trajectory.

World Rugby awards two African women rugby leaders the 2021 Women’s Executive Leadership scholarships - NNN.