FOUNDATION | The growth of Women’s Sport
To celebrate International Women’s Day, let’s take some time to reflect and share some behind the scenes stories with you that highlight Saracens commitment to the growth of Women’s Sport at the club, through the lens of Saracens Foundation.
Saracens boasts two elite women’s sports teams in Saracen’s Womens Rugby and Saracens Mavericks Netball. These strong female athletes are paving the way for future generations, using their positions as role models to inspire and engage our communities through the foundation, advocating for more females to get involved and realise the benefits of sport both on and off the pitch.
This season Saracens Foundation launched our first female focused leadership programme, ‘The Empower Her Project’ in partnership with club sponsors Shawbrook Bank. Fourteen Saracens elite women’s players stepped forward to join the mentoring programme, which pairs our players with young girls from our local community sports clubs. Each month we invite special guests from the sports industry to focus on a key theme, sharing their own experiences and knowledge to support our participants gain insight into different mindsets and approaches to challenges within the women’s sports landscape. Special guests include; Lucy Wray (Saracens CEO), Sue Anstiss MBE (Author of Game On – The unstoppable rise of women’s Sport) and David Tillotson (Former Saracens Men’s Player and Performance Director at Team GB) and many more. We are excited to be joined by our next special guest is former Saracens and England Womens legend Maggie Alphonsi MBE who joined the Saracens Board in October 2021 and will be talking about her experience of raising profile of women’s sport.
When questioned on the importance of the Empower Her project, Saracens Rugby Captain Lotte Clapp said ‘ It was really important for me to get involved in the programme because growing up I didn’t have many female role models, I didn’t know women played rugby, and didn’t know it was a professional thing you could do. Hopefully I have some experience I can share with the girls and answer any questions they may have’
With the success of this initial leadership project, Saracens Foundation has rapidly grown our commitment to support women and girls in our communities through the power of sport. Saracens Women’s player and Canadian International Mackenzie Carson has joined Saracens Foundation team as our lead project officer for women and girls’ projects. Mackenzie brings a passion for creating equality within sport and a focused on ensuring that sport is accessible for all. Mackenzie is responsible for the launch of an additional women and girls project with Premiership Rugby called ‘Project Rugby’. This project focusing on increasing participation in local rugby clubs from traditionally underrepresented female groups from ethnically diverse backgrounds.
Saracens Foundation are committed to the growth of women’s sport utilizing our community foundation and elite female role models. Our projects aim to challenge gender stereotypes and biases, breaking down barriers and creating inclusive environments in which women and girls can strive. It’s simple to become an ally for women sport and you can get involved too by watching our Saracens Women’s Rugby and Saracens Mavericks Netball teams games, share opportunities for women and girls through our Saracens Foundation projects and support your local women and girls community sports clubs.
Saracens Foundation are always interested in building new partnerships with organisations that share our values and desire to impact our local communities through sport, education and employability projects. For more information on our women and girl’s projects and opportunities to support the growth of women’s sport contact Charlie White (Development Manager) on firstname.lastname@example.org .