The Rugby World Cup Sevens has kicked off in Cape Town, South Africa and Ireland will have high hopes heading into this campaign.
TritonLake, title sponsor of the Irish 7s teams, have released Episode Six of its podcast TritonLake Perform, featuring Lynne Cantwell, Women’s High-Performance Manager for South African Rugby. In an exclusive interview, Lynne Cantwell shared insight from her career over the years and her perspective on the development of women's sport in Ireland.
“The 15s game represents every body, shape and size, and ability in the whole of every country and the 7s game doesn’t, it is an elite sport.” Cantwell recognizes in anticipation of what will be one of the most competitive tournaments in the sporting calendar for Rugby this year.
Lynne Cantwell has an impressive career to her name, having had been Ireland's highest capped women's rugby player, chairman of Ireland's Women in Sport Committee, and is currently the Women’s High-Performance Manager for South African Rugby.
"To train hard, to recover hard, to get better, to analyze and remain curious" are her key steps to success in the sport, as she gives specialist insight as a manager herself into the developmental curve of women's rugby.
She also takes us through her role in Irelands Women in Sport Committee, she reflects “How are going to progress and represent all of the county if who is representing our whole sport are one of the same person? Hopefully, by 2023, we will have that up at 40% by most of the sports which is really exciting.” It is fantastic to see the projection of women's representation in management.
"Ireland is doing a great job, but leadership and governance is a key piece," she says when they discuss the ways women's rugby in Ireland could be pushed even further. Investment in infrastructure, such as elite coaches, she says are just as important as professional contracts for the players. "If we don’t drive the standard at the technical and tactical level of your A ,B, C’s then the game is not going to produce what we know it can produce". This truly resonates with the plans of development for the sport.
Lynne Cantwell on the future of Women in Sport in Ireland:
“Ireland is doing so well for the little country that it is. I think the Women In Sport policy, now in its third year… and the core pillars from the start were leadership and governance, coaching and participation and visibility.”
“In terms of leadership and governance, and the phase and era that we are in, representation at a board level and a leadership level is key. I think Ireland is doing incredibly well, and I think hopefully we (WIS Committee) had a small part to play in it, is really pushing the board representation targets over the line.”
“How are going to progress and represent all of the county if who is representing our whole sport are one of the same person? Hopefully by 2023, we will have that up at 40% by most of the sports which is really exciting.”
In this episode of TritonLake Perform, Cantwell looks back on what motivated her own performance as a player with Munster and Irish Rugby, before she made the switch to High-Performance Manager. Cantwell delves into the cultural and sporting differences between Irish and South African Rugby, noting the important role data has to play in today’s game, and looks ahead to what she feels will be an exciting future for women in rugby and indeed, women in sport, across Ireland and the world.
The TritonLake Perform podcast explores the intersection of sport and business, and in particular, the necessary ingredients when it comes to creating and maintaining a dynamic high-performance culture. Hosted by TritonLake founder and CEO, Conor Smyth, guests on TritonLake Perform will come from the world of sport and business, with particular focus on businesses operating in the countries where HSBC Sevens World Series Events take place.
So check out this podcast now, for a thoroughly thought provoking discussion about the future of women's rugby, and don't forget to tune into Ireland match against Brazil which kicks off today at 12.54pm.
Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile