The Philippine Rugby Football Union has removed the term “Lady” from its national women’s 15s and 7s team names. In line with the decision of World Rugby and Asia Rugby to drop gender titles in the Rugby World Cup properties and Asia Rugby competition names, this move demonstrates PRFU’s commitment to delivering brand consistency across the organizations most recognized asset, the Philippine Volcanoes National Rugby Team.
“Our national team athletes are all developed on the foundational values of commitment, sacrifice, teamwork and passion,” Philippine Rugby general manager Jake Letts shared. “These values are reflected across both genders and we want the same name of our national team, the inspirational target for any athlete playing Rugby.”
PRFU secretary general Ada Milby is a former national women’s team captain herself. She said, “This small change in the name, makes a big difference in the narrative.”
“A Volcano is a Volcano,” Milby continued. “We want fans to focus on the athletes and their efforts to represent the country, not their gender and this is a great first step toward that intention”.
This decision is part of a larger commitment to gender inclusion targets as set out in PRFU’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan to help raise the profile of the women’s game and remove any perceived favoritism around the men’s team and men’s only tournaments, which historically have not included gender in their names. The women’s program has seen a steady rise of success over the last two years, achieving a silver medal finish in the Asia Trophy Series in 2018 and bagging the gold at the same event one year later.
Other targets for the women’s game in PRFU include equitable opportunities for women and girls’ development by reducing barriers to join the game and gender targets for more female representation at all levels of the game. Both the men’s and women’s national sevens teams will be representing the Philippines in the upcoming Olympic Qualifications and 2019 Southeast Asian Games in November 2019 and December 2019.