Philippine Rugby makes history twice as it gets a seat for the first time on the World Rugby Council (WRC), with the council’s first-ever female member, Philippine Rugby’s Secretary General Ada Milby. World Rugby is the international governing body for the sport of rugby and is one of the leading sporting federations that support a gender balance policy across all levels of governance.
Milby made her international rugby debut in 2012, and was selected as the Team Captain for the National Women’s Rugby Team the Lady Volcanoes later that year. She served as the Head of Development for grassroots rugby in 2013, launching the Get Into Rugby program in the same year and was later nominated for the Philippine Rugby Board of Directors. Since 2013, Milby has continued to make waves across Philippine Rugby and Asia Rugby, she is now looking to represent not only gender equality, but also Philippine Rugby on the global stage.
“I’m so honored and humbled to be the first woman council member appointed for World Rugby Council following the strong support for Gender Inclusion at the highest level. Not only does it create the space for more women leadership to be accepted at all levels of the Game for Rugby but it is a strong statement and call to action for other sporting codes to show that when you are fully committed to Gender Inclusion, the solutions may manifest in ways not previously considered. I applaud World Rugby and its commitment to continue building a Game that is truly a Sport For All,” Milby said.
The Asia Rugby federation was the first of the World Rugby regional associations to support the Gender Balance policy implemented by World Rugby. The association unanimously voted in favor for their Asia Rugby Executive Committee member to be the regional associations first ever female representative the World Rugby Council. World Rugby will appoint 16 more women to be filled following their decision to promote the International Olympic Committee’s target of a minimum 30 percent representation by women across all levels of governance.
Rugby in Asia is on the rise, as Japan prepares to host not only the Rugby World Cup in 2019 but also the 2020 Olympic Games. Rugby 7s were re-included in 2016, which saw Fiji secure their first ever medal at the Olympics.
“Rugby continues to grow on a global scale, its great to see the code promoted even more now in the Asia Region. To now have Ada on the World Rugby Council for gender equality and represent the Philippines shows how far the game has come. Ada has made tremendous strides for Philippine Rugby, as a player, Board member and most of all promoting Women’s Rugby in the Philippines. Her recent development in helping launch the Pass It Back program also in 2017 was yet another first for the Philippines, she’s also inspiring younger girls to take up the sport and represent on a national level, ” said Jake Letts, acting director for Philippine Rugby.
The timing of the announcement is ideal as the Philippines prepares to send its first ever U17 Girls Team to the Youth Olympic Qualifiers in Dubai next week.