The Barbarians Rugby Charitable Trust is backing the development of women’s sport by making a significant grant to a leading charity. 

The Women’s Sports Trust (WST) has received £10,000 to support its campaigns that use the power of sport to accelerate gender equality and social change. The WST promotes diverse role models and lobbies for increased media coverage and funding improvements.

The Barbarians club launched their own women’s team 18 months ago and this year the team will take on international opponents when they face England at Twickenham on June 2.

“We are committed to supporting women’s rugby at all levels and the club’s particular plan is to be able to put out sides of an international standard who will play the game in a style that inspires young women to play the game,” said Chairman John Spencer, one of the five Trustees.

WST Patrons

WST Patrons (left to right): Anna Watkins, Kate Richardson-Walsh, Maggie Alphonsi, Kelly Smith, Sophie Christiansen

“The Barbarians Rugby Charitable Trust wanted to reflect that commitment by supporting the development of women’s rugby and women’s sport as a whole and that led us to the Women’s Sport Trust. 

“We’d taken the advice of people like England internationals Sue Day and Maggie Alphonsi and then asked for a written presentation. We were very impressed with the organisation and particularly with the drive they have to raise the profile of women’s and girls sport as a whole and encourage more participation.”

The WST will use the grant to fund core activity that includes events, campaigns and media initiatives to promote women’s sport, highlight inspirational athlete stories and promote change. 

“We were genuinely surprised and delighted when we were approached by the Barbarians Rugby Charitable Trust,” said WST Co-Founder Jo Bostock. 

“The Barbarians are an inclusive and a disruptive force in rugby in the way they bring people together and then make the unexpected happen. They have always brought a creativity and openness to the way the game is played, and we are excited to see that extended to the women’s game. The Barbarians’ constructively disruptive spirit is something we share as we seek to make a difference on and off the field.

Vicki Jackson

Vicki Jackson appeared in the first Barbarians women’s match against Munster

“The Barbarians provide a phenomenal platform to showcase the skill, talent and sheer entertainment provided by elite female players at the top of their game – and we are delighted to be working together to amplify that.

“While brands get involved with individual campaigns, finding someone to help fund our core activity can be hard. The Barbarians Trust has freed us up to do 101 different things to accelerate the progress of women’s sport and that’s a phenomenal contribution.”

The Trustees include some of rugby’s foremost former players and administrators in Spencer, Micky Steele-Bodger, Sir Bill Beaumont, Gerald Davies and Gavin Hastings. 

They aim to support worthy causes and the development of rugby for all ages throughout the world, most recently making a grant of £10,000 last December to the Atlas Foundation to support their work in Argentina with underprivileged children in the cities of Buenos Aires and Salta.

Other recent grants have been made to provinces and unions in Georgia, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Belgium and Tunisia.

Donations have also been made to progress youth development in Africa, to disaster relief appeals in Italy and Fiji, and in promoting mixed ability rugby.

Nearer home, donations have been made to injured players’ charities in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Italy, and the Trust also supports Services’ rugby with donations to the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes.

You can find out more about the Barbarians Rugby Charitable Trust here