Wellington rugby player Alice Soper has called out New Zealand Rugby over a lack of clarity around the resumption of the women’s domestic competition.
NZ Rugby announced details of next month’s Super Rugby season this week along with plans for the Mitre 10 Cup in September, but has yet to place a timeframe on women’s rugby, in particular, the Farah Palmer Cup.
In a video monologue on Twitter, Soper spoke out against NZ Rugby (and the media) for leaving women rugby players like herself in the dark over their futures.
“I’m not happy that we’re so used to, as a women’s competition, not even having the dignity of a question being asked about what’s going on for us,” Soper said in an impassioned plea on Twitter.
“So what is going on? Because right now, the silence is deafening.
“New Zealand Rugby, what is going on? What is your plan? What are we supposed to be doing right now?
“Am I supposed to wait? Am I supposed to sit on my hands and be quiet?
“You guys will hype our s*** and clip our ticket when we succeed, but right now, we’re in the middle of another challenge and we’re invisible, as per usual.
“A challenge for NZR, what’s going on? But a challenge for the sports media, ask the question.”
— Alice Soper (@alicesoapbox) May 11, 2020
Soper says she’s speaking out not only for herself, but on behalf of all of her “sisters” in women’s rugby.
“I was asked if I felt like I was on my own in calling this out.
“No. Just like when we on the field, my sisters have my back. Even those who play in different jerseys have reached out. That’s who I was speaking on behalf of. My voice is their voice.”
Soper followed her initial tweet with another video a day later about her frustrations that she still hadn’t heard anything from NZ Rugby.
But hey, us out here playing for love not money, we might have to find our power ? pic.twitter.com/5vMmdbsO2L
— Alice Soper (@alicesoapbox) May 12, 2020
In a statement to the Herald, NZ Rugby head of women’s rugby Cate Sexton said work was being done around women’s competitions.
“Women’s rugby is at the fore of all our planning,” Sexton said.
“We still have lots of work to do during these uncertain times, but preparation for RWC 2021 remains our priority and the Farah Palmer Cup is a key part of that. We will provide updates on all our competitions as soon as we have confirmation.”
Sports administrators have called on the Government for specific funding into women’s sport, which they say is in danger, and are hoping for funding in tomorrow’s budget.
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