Meet the IOC Young Leaders! Meet the IOC Young Leaders!

The IOC Young Leaders programme engages and empowers inspirational young people by providing coaching, funding and a network of mentors for them to deliver their own grass roots sports projects in their communities. Let's take a look at project stories of an IOC Young Leader!

Vol.02 Girls Rugby Vol.02 Girls Rugby

Erin Kennedy (U.S.A.)

Empowering Girls Through Rugby

I am the chief operating officer and co-founder of Girls Rugby and the regional development manager for Rugby Americas North. I have experience from USA Rugby, Rugby Canada, and the International Olympic Committee, am a world rugby educator, hold a master's in sport psychology, and authored the children's book 'The Value of Rugby'. Through my project, I try to empower girls to reach their potential through sport.

What is Girls Rugby?

The IOC Young Leaders program has supported the growth of Girls Rugby. Girls Rugby is a non-profit organization based in the United States that has a mission of empowering girls to reach their potential through sport. Girls Rugby provides programming for young girls aged 6-14 which includes a values-based curriculum highlighting positive core values and life skills paired with non-contact flag rugby. Launched in 2018, Girls Rugby became the only organization in the U.S. to offer girls-only flag rugby programming, growing from 15 locations across three states to 26 locations across five states in just one year. Each community program provides an environment where young girls can try something new, make new friends, get outside and active, and build the skills to help them lead and succeed in life.

For more information on Girls Rugby, visit

What is Girls Rugby?
What is Girls Rugby?

It was only three short years ago that our team sat down to dream up what Girls Rugby would and could be. After two years of operating and running programs, the results have been more than we could have ever wanted. Some of our achievements over the past year have been:

  • 344 Registrations in 2019 – a 245% growth from 2018
  • 6,258 Activity Hours in 2019 – helping our girls remain active and healthy
  • 26 Locations in 5 States – growing from 15 locations in 3 states in just 1 year
  • 94% of parents surveyed reported that Girls Rugby made their daughters more confident.
  • 86% of girls surveyed reported that Girls Rugby has helped them to make new friends.
  • 72% of our staff/volunteers are female
What is Girls Rugby?
What is Girls Rugby?

What is next?

Girls Rugby will continue to grow and expand in order to help empower more girls to reach their potential through sport.
Looking to 2020 and beyond, Girls Rugby hopes to continue expanding programming to new states and new locations, further reaching more girls and helping them lead and succeed in life.

To get involved or support Girls Rugby, please visit