Qantas Australian Women's Sevens and Fifteens representative Shannon Parry has been appointed to join the Board of Directors following the Rugby Union Players’ Association Board meeting on Thursday 19 June 2014, RUPA has announced. The appointment is effective immediately. Adding to her existing commitments on the International Rugby Players’ Association (IRPA) Player Advisory Panel, Shannon will provide valuable insights for the Board not only as a Women’s Rugby representative, but as a Sevens specialist as well.
Shannon began her Rugby career by chance, in 2008, however the sport has always been in her blood. Both her father and brother have played first grade in England and Queensland respectively, and since discovering her own passion for the sport after leaving school, Shannon has gone on to become one of the most influential players in both the Sevens and Fifteens format of the game.
In 2010, she made her debut World Cup appearance in Fifteens at the tournament held in England, a feat she will again match in Europe at this year’s World Cup. The 2010 appearance was made all the more special, as it marked the occasion of the completion of her Tertiary studies in a Bachelor of Education from Griffith University in Brisbane.
Since completing her degree, she has juggled her Rugby commitments alongside a teaching career, specialising in Physical Education and Geography, a perfect mix for a globetrotting Sevens player.
In joining the Board, Shannon becomes just the second woman in the 18 year history of RUPA to join the Board of Directors, following in the footsteps of legendary Australian Rugby figure Cheryl McAfee (nee Soon).
“I’m really looking forward to being a part of the RUPA Board; it’s a great opportunity to give a voice to Women’s Rugby and hopefully an opportunity to help raise the profile of the sport further,” said Shannon on the appointment. RUPA Chairman, Bruce Hodgkinson SC, was thrilled to have a player of the aptitude and intellect of Shannon to join the Board.
“There is no doubt the profile of Women’s rugby is constantly growing. We see Women’s rugby, particularly Sevens, as pivotal in increasing interest and participation in the sport at a community level. Being able to share Shannon’s knowledge will strengthen RUPA’s contribution in representing the interests of the players across both the Sevens and Fifteens forms of the game” he said.
“Since the start of the professionalism of the Women’s program RUPA have been there; negotiating on our behalf with the ARU on all of the terms and conditions of our engagement and employment in the program” said Shannon.
“With the continued support of the ARU and the AOC the game is only going to grow bigger. No doubt we will begin to see a lot of school girls running around and playing Rugby which will be great. These athletes will be the future of the game.”
“My appointment to the RUPA Board is testimony to the importance of women to the game of Rugby in Australia.”