Women’s rugby set to grow

Kirsty Arps with the Women's Rugby World Cup in Ashburton.

Kirsty Arps has been appointed Mid Canterbury’s new Women’s Rugby Development Officer.

The Mid Canterbury local was a keen rugby player in her youth, and had progressed from playing into coaching and development roles.

She believes with big events happening on New Zealand’s doorstep will be a key for attracting new talent to the game because “the girls can see there is something for them to aspire to”.

New Zealand has the Super Rugby Aupiki professional women’s rugby competition and is also hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup this year and Kirsty is sure these exciting events will encourage more female players to the game and continue to grow women’s rugby across the country.

She was drawn to the role in part because she has three daughters, two of whom are already playing rugby for the Tinwald Club and saw it as an opportunity to help grow the game for the younger generation of players and to create pathways for women’s rugby in the region to progress to.

The women’s game has been booming in terms of popularity over the past few years and Kirsty believes numbers were increasing as more mainstream media attention was focused on the women’s game.

The Super Rugby competition and the World Cup are providing a lot of excitement and interest and now is the time to capitalize on the coverage and attention they are receiving.

Kirsty hopes to see an even bigger increase in numbers across all facets of women’s rugby, from playing numbers to more women being involved in coaching and refereeing.

She has a goal to make sure there are enough players locally to have a Mid Canterbury Women’s Rugby team and for them to be able to play at all the tournaments available for them.