Scottish Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Sheila Begbie MBE to the newly-created position of Head of Women’s Rugby.
The post fulfils one of the recommended actions within the policy initiatives, The Way Forward: 2016 and Beyond, with growing the women’s game one of five targeted areas for action.
Sheila comes to Scottish Rugby from the Scottish FA, where she has been Head of Girls’ and Women’s Football since 1998. In addition to being responsible for the strategic development of the game in Scotland, Sheila was vice chairperson of the UEFA Women’s Committee and a UEFA Match Delegate.
Reporting directly to Scottish Rugby’s Director of Rugby, Scott Johnson, Sheila’s remit will cover all aspects of the women’s and girls’ game, from grass roots to performance.
She said: “I think what I’ll bring from football is a blueprint of success because we’ve had lots of successes in the women’s game. I would hope to transfer a lot of skills in terms of the strategic element of the work I’ve done at the Scottish FA, also the network of people I know and the development of partnerships, which are going to be critical in developing women’s and girls’ rugby in Scotland.
“We need to grow the game so we need to get more young girls active and playing rugby. I would envisage working with the regional staff and creating partnerships with government and stakeholders to have a very specific approach to working with girls.
“One of the things that has really impressed me has been the vision from Scottish Rugby's Chief Executive and Board in terms of what their aspirations are for the women’s game – there’s a real desire to support the growth of the game and support it at a performance end.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Scott and the rest of the team.”
Scottish Rugby’s Director of Rugby, Scott Johnson said: “It’s a wonderful appointment. Sheila has had a great career in Scottish women’s soccer and this shows our intent to make women’s rugby a priority and how important this aspect of the game is to our organisation.”
Sheila will take up her appointment in mid August 2014.
Sheila Begbie MBE
A former PE teacher, Sheila went on to be Girls’ and Women’s Football Co-ordinator with the TeamSport Scotland initiative at sportscotland prior to joining the Scottish FA.
As a central defender with Edinburgh Dynamos, she made her international football debut at the age of fifteen, in the first official Scotland v England game. Scoring against Italy at the San Siro in 1974, in one of Scotland’s early matches, she went on to win a total of 25 caps and captained the national team.
Involved in establishing the Scottish FA Women’s National Performance Centre at the University of Stirling, she also sits on the steering group established by the Scottish Government to deliver the country’s first National Performance Centre for Sport.