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Women in Rugby... Respect

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Meet the Panellist

Learn more about the panellist taking part in this years Women in Rugby.… Respect Webinars.

Women in Rugby Leadership – Success stories to learn from

Ana Tuiketei:

Ana Tuiketei is an international lawyer and arbitrator based in Suva, Fiji, and a 2021 recipient of the World Rugby Executive Leadership Scholarship. In April 2021 Tuiketei became the first Pasifika female to be listed within the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which followed her 2020 appointment as the first listed Pacific Counsel with the International Criminal Court (ICC).Her passion and aptitude in the legal field combined with her passion to see gender equality in sport has seen Tuiketei smash through barriers at every turn. Tuiketei has an extensive background in Sport in which includes advisory and board positions with Fiji Rugby Union, Fiji National Rugby League, Fiji Sports Council and Fiji National Sports Commission. Outside of Fiji she has continued her love for Rugby as a Judicial Officer for Oceania Rugby and World Rugby and a stint with the International Rugby League.

Women In Rugby: Ana Tuiketei

Libby Nankivell :

Libby Nankivell has a long association with Rugby and was recently appointed Vice President of the Queensland Reds, the first women to hold the role in Queensland Rugby’s 139-year history. Furthermore, Nankivell has experience as a player, referee, manager, and a decade of board room experience. At university, Nankivell established Townsville women’s Rugby Union and she also played in the women’s Rugby inaugural appearance at the 1994 University Games winning the gold medal. Not just a player, Nankivell earned her referee qualifications in North Queensland, where she went on to win the Women in Sport referee/umpire of the year in 1998. With the growth of women in sport, Nankivell has earned a place on the Australian Schools Rugby Union and its Foundation boards to give them a positive female voice.

Women in Rugby: Libby Nankivell

Ashleigh Wihongi-Willis:

Auckland-born Ashleigh Wihongi-Willis moved to the Cook Islands 13 years ago, and soon immersed herself in rugby matters. She has managed both the men’s and women’s sevens teams, and sits on the board as an advocate of women’s rugby. In 2021 Wihongi-Willis was elected Cook Islands Rugby Union President, becoming the second female president ever for the Union. Like so many before her Wihongi-Willis has held a number of roles across the sport at all levels. Her journey into sports management, administration and governances started at Arorangi Rugby Union in Rarotonga over 10 years ago. Wihongi-Willis also creates Social Media Strategies and Online Marketing with a focus on website and increase in engagement converting to increase in numbers of Women and Juniors in both playing and admin roles, as well as Heads the Womens Rugby Subcommittee in the Cook Islands, which focuses on creating career pathways in Rugby. 

Women In Rugby: Ashleigh Wihongi-Willis

Tonia Cawood:

Tonia Cawood is an independent Chartered Director and leadership / strategy consultancy business owner.  A graduate of Bachelor Physical Education and Bachelor Commerce from Otago University, with a season as first/ half back for the Otago Uni Blue team, Tonia found herself in her dream job leading sports marketing with Adidas NZ when it was the New Zealand Rugby sponsors, the world’s largest sports marketing deal at the time. Cawood worked within marketing, sales, sponsorship, funding, project leadership and strategy roles over 20 years in sports marketing and management. Tonia now focuses on delivering value through her governance and high-performance leadership and strategy consultancy work. Cawood currently manages a role with the New Zealand Olympic Foundation to accelerate New Zealand sport through philanthropic funding, her strategy consultancy business and is the co-founder and director of a leadership development business ‘The Company You Keep’, delivering two-day workshops and one-on-one coaching focused on developing whole-hearted high-performance leaders.

Women In Rugby: Tonia Cawood