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Ruth Holdaway MBE joins WSA Board

Women Sport Australia (WSA), the peak independent body for women and girls in sport, is delighted to announce the appointment of Ruth Holdaway MBE to the Board. 

Previously CEO of Women in Sport in the UK and CEO of Tennis Victoria in Australia, Ruth brings a wealth of knowledge about women’s leadership and participation in sport to the Board.
With the finalists for WSA’s third annual Women in Sport Photo Action Awards (#WISPAA) due to be announced next week and the recent launch of The Shona Joy Scholarship for the Women in Sport Mentoring Program, there has never been a better time to join the Board.

Ruth’s leadership of the Beyond 30% Campaign in the UK, saw a new Code of Governance for Sport mandate that organisations must have 30% women on the board.  Ruth led the formation of a Women’s Sport Network which helped raise the profile of women in sport and provided mentoring opportunities for the next generation of female leaders in the sector.  She also led the creation of Women’s Sport Week, backed by major broadcasters the BBC and BT Sport.  During Ruth’s time as CEO, participation in sport by women in the UK increased by more than two million.

A campaigner for gender equality throughout her career Ruth held leadership roles with Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Women’s Aid in the UK before moving to the sport sector.  She also spent six years at The Prostate Cancer Charity where she was part of the team that launched the Movember Campaign in the UK.  Ruth was awarded the MBE in 2019 for services to gender equality in sport.

Women Sport Australia welcomes Ruth to the Board at a time when focusing on the profile of, and investment into, women’s sport is required as the sector rebuilds after a COVID ravaged year.  Ruth will support the Board with Government relations, helping drive funding and policy change to achieve our vision of making sport equitable for all.

Gen Simmons, President of Women Sport Australia, said “Ruth will be an excellent addition to our Board with a wealth of knowledge that she can share from her time leading Women in Sport in the UK. As we continue to create relationships across the sector, to advocate for women in sport, to grow our profile and to deliver on our various programs and events we know that Ruth will be able to add plenty of value.”

Ruth Holdaway said “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to support every woman and girl in Australia to have access to and benefit from sport.  Australia is a powerful sporting nation, the rivalry between the UK’s national teams and Australia is legendary, so it’s wonderful to turn that competition on its head and focus on the things we have in common – the desire for equality in sport and the need to ensure women are leading and playing at every level.  I hope every individual and organisation that shares Women Sport Australia’s vision to make sport equitable for all, will join us – together we can truly transform the sporting landscape for women and girls and I’m privileged to be part of that change.”

In addition to the announcement of Ruth Holdaway MBE joining the Board, Women Sport Australia is also excited to partner with Ministry of Sport on the Women in Sport Summit 2021.

Ministry of Sport and the Sunshine Coast City Council will present the Women in Sport Summit 2021 on Friday 25 June at USC Stadium, home of the Sunshine Coast Lightning.

Women Sport Australia Deputy Chair Rebecca Reed will join some of the most prestigious names in the industry for the third annual Women In Sport Summit promising exclusive access, coveted conversations and game changing discussions, all while inspiring women to rise up and dream, believe, create and succeed.

The 2021 Women in Sport Summit will build on the work of its predecessors as an unmatched networking opportunity for sports business professionals, with exciting news to come in the lead up regarding speakers, topics, and key stakeholders.

Further details about the Women in Sport Summit 2021 can be found here.

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