University of Worcester and Worcester Warriors agree landmark partnership

Worcester Warriors and the University of Worcester have agreed a landmark multi-year partnership ahead of the 2022/23 season.

This will see the two organisations embark on an ambitious collaboration to help grow women’s rugby at the club and inspire more women to take up studies at the University alongside elite rugby.

To reflect the significance of the partnership, Warriors Women, who compete in the Allianz Premier 15s, will now be renamed ‘University of Worcester Warriors’.

The University’s name and logo will feature on the front and back of the women’s home and away playing shirts, while the new team name ‘University of Worcester Warriors’ and the Warriors logo will feature on the front. The University’s branding will also be prominent throughout Sixways Stadium via LED boards and interview backdrops.

In addition, the partnership will give female students the opportunity to combine their academic life with playing rugby in an elite environment at Sixways Stadium through a number of scholarships and business placements.

Warriors and the University will combine to increase opportunities for women and girls at all levels to participate in sport and maximise their potential. The University will also draw upon its experiences of working with its own female sport franchises in women’s basketball, women’s wheelchair basketball and Severn Stars netball to contribute towards the current and ongoing success of Warriors’ elite and development programmes for women.

Warriors Managing Director Peter Kelly said: “This is a significant partnership for both Worcester Warriors and the University of Worcester.

“With the power of professional sport, it is a fantastic opportunity to drive awareness in the UK and overseas and help attract even more students to our fantastic university and wonderful city.

“This ambitious partnership will inspire the next generation of students to strive for a career in sport, whether that is on field or off field, and as a club we are extremely excited to see what we can achieve together.”

University of Worcester Warriors Director of Rugby, Jo Yapp attended the University, where she undertook an undergraduate degree, before embarking on a PGCE there.

She went on to be capped 70 times by England and has since helped develop women’s sport at Sixways.

“I am very appreciative of the support the University of Worcester gave me when I was a student there as it enabled me to balance my studies with playing rugby for England and Worcester,” Yapp said.

“The women’s game has developed significantly since then and the game at international and club level is now much more professional but players still need support on and off the pitch to enable them to fulfil their potential.

“The partnership between Worcester Warriors and the University of Worcester is a significant development in encouraging and inspiring more women rugby players to study at the university while continuing to grow and strengthen the women’s game at Sixways.”

Professor David Green CBE DL, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Worcester, said: “The 21st Century is proving to be the century for the rise of women’s sport.

“At the University of Worcester, we are deeply committed to increasing the participation of women and girls in sport and truly believe in sport for all.

“We are absolutely delighted with this latest new dimension to our longstanding partnership work with Worcester Warriors. Our work together will enable and encourage many more girls and women to participate in sport whilst gaining a first-class education.”

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