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Touch achieving new heights for women’s participation

International Women’s Day is about celebrating women across all areas of society, and there is plenty to cheer within the sport of Touch.

In July, England will be hosting the largest ever Touch World Cup in Nottingham, which in 2024 not just features more Womens Open teams than Men’s Open teams, but also a Womens 40 category for the first time, and the most ever number of Womens teams across the four categories - 44.

Not only that, but with the overall number of Mixed teams up by 36 percent compared to 2019 there will be more women playing in those competitions, too.

Domestically in England there is more interest and representation by women in the sport’s leadership.

Thirty-seven percent of overall members are women, a figure which rises to 41 percent for Under-25s.

At leadership level 43 percent of the England Touch Association’s Board are women, as is half of the overall workforce.

England’s women are European champions in the Opens, 27 and 40 categories, with the Womens 20 and Girls 18 teams winning their respective Golds at the 2023 Atlantic Youth Touch Cup.

England’s four Womens and two Mixed teams are now preparing for the Touch World Cup, including trips to Australia for the Womens Open and 35 for the Queensland and New South Wales State Cups, to Singapore for the Womens 27 for matches and coaching, and to Spain for the Womens 40 for a training weekend.

Finally, of the 12 Level 5 referees (the highest Federation of International Touch rating), four are women.

“2024’s International Womens Day is all about collectively forging an inclusive world for women and girls,” says England Touch’s General Manager, Sammie Phillips.

“Equality, equity, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of what we are striving for in our Vision at England Touch. Through the work collectively being done across all genders we are seeing positive change in a number of different areas of our sport.

“Our Women and Girls Working Group has been established to steer our strategy in increasing our female membership, creating more participation opportunities – playing, coaching, refereeing, managing and volunteering – for females of all ages and from all backgrounds, and to improve the environment in which females participate in our sport.

“We are developing our relationships with Sport England, Women in Sport, and other national governing bodies to learn from their insights to inspire change and address gender inequality.”

To become involved in the Women and Girls Working Group email

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