Rugby Canada Women in Leadership Fund Recipients

December 07, 2022


Rugby Canada Announces Six Successful Applicants 

December 7th, 2022

(WHITBY, ON) - Rugby Canada is pleased to announce the six successful applicants of the 2022 Women in Leadership Fund. 

In its second year of existence, the 2022 edition of the fund extended to a wider range of eligible applicants in comparison to the inaugural Women in Leadership Fund that was launched in 2021. This year, eligible applicants were required to currently be involved in rugby at an administrative or governance level within a provincial union, provincial Board of Directors or a member club of Rugby Canada. 

The adjustments to the eligibility criteria brought an increase in applications in 2022 and the Women in Leadership fund has now received applications from eight different provincial unions over the program’s two-year existence. 

“By widening the scope of the fund to include female administrators in clubs, we’re hoping to have a greater impact not only across more provinces but right down to the community level,” stated Jackie Tittley, Training and Education Manager with Rugby Canada. “The more we can increase diversity across leadership roles at all levels of the game, the more we will see our game grow.”

The 2022 Women in Leadership Fund will award six new recipients funding of up to $2000 to pursue development opportunities that will enhance their ability to lead from within our sport. It is the goal of the program to provide a strong and diverse leadership base in Canada and a pipeline to the World Rugby Scholarship Program and beyond. 

Find the full Women in Leadership Fund overview here

All six recipients were required to submit an application that included a high-level summary of their background in rugby and a personal impact statement on their leadership aspirations. Also required was a development plan outlining the activities, courses or programs each applicant planned to attend along with a letter of endorsement from their provincial union’s Executive Director, CEO, President of the Board or the President of their club.   

“The intention of the application process is to ensure the recipients of the fund take ownership of their own learning and development right from the start. What we are learning is that many applicants aren’t aware of what kinds of opportunities are out there and available to them. This is something we will take into account for next year to improve the program.”

2022 Women in Leadership Fund Recipient List

Name: Alyx Paulson

Location: Regina, Saskatchewan

Current Role: VP Marketing

Provincial Union: Saskatchewan Rugby

Focus: Leadership and Organizational Management 

Name: Jane Kirby Addeo

Location: Fergus, Ontario

Current Role: President

Club: Fergus Highland Rugby Club

Focus: Leadership in Sport

Name: Jennifer Lemon

Location: Kelowna, British Columbia 

Current Role: Vice President and Senior Women’s Coach

Club: Kelowna Crows Rugby Football Club

Focus: Accessibility, Diversity, Strategic Planning, Managing Conflicts and Strength & Conditioning 

Name: Keegan Brantner

Location: Lethbridge, Alberta

Current Role: Player, Coach and Club Secretary

Club: Lethbridge Rugby Club

Focus: Diversity, Accessibility, Rugby Development and Coach Education 

Name: Melanie Judges

Location: Ottawa, Ontario 

Current Role: Vice President of Rugby Operations

Club: Ottawa Irish Rugby Club

Focus: Grassroots Rugby, Sport Leadership and Gender Equity

Name: Petra Woods

Current Role: President

Location: Scarborough, Ontario

Club: Scarborough RFC

Focus: Accessibility, Diversity and Leadership Development

These six new recipients will create an individualized development plan that may include formal and informal education, attendance to conferences, participation in working groups or committees and other relevant activities. Travel, accommodation and conference fees in association with these activities may also be covered. In addition to the opportunities that they identify in their applications, recipients will also have access to courses at the Queens Executive Business School through a partnership between Rugby Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee. Fund recipients will be required to submit an annual report on their progress and development within one year of the fund having been awarded.

Details of the 2023 Women in Leadership Fund will be announced at a later date. For more information, please email

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Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to lead, support and promote Rugby for All from communities to clubs to province. This mission signals a movement toward creating a more cohesive, supportive and progressive sporting environment that is responsive to the needs of all members.

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Dalton Finkbeiner

Communications and Marketing Coordinator - Rugby Ontario

    647-560-4790 x 1006


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