ANZCCJ was pleased to host Ms Raelene Castle in her first visit to Japan as CEO of Rugby Australia at the chic R2 Supper Club in Roppongi for a Q&A session on 24 April. Joining her was Olympic Gold Medalist and Women’s 7s Captain, Shannon Parry, as well as former Men’s 7s Captain, Ed Jenkins.
After some light refreshments and networking, ANZCCJ Chair Emeritus Melanie Brock commenced the event by welcoming our Rugby Australia guests and moderated the Q&A session, which focussed on the important issue of diversity both on and off the field.
During the Q&A, Shannon noted the promising growth she has seen in women’s rugby in Japan. She said that she had felt really welcomed by Japan during her Kitakishi tour. The group discussed the similarities in codes between sports, and how these strategic parallels allow for an easy understanding for growth in the sport in Japan.
Ms Castle said that it was an honour to be the first female chief executive of Rugby Australia, and noted the significance of Australia recognising the upside of diversity, an area in which she claimed New Zealand had been leading. The group further discussed the encouraging change seen in the world, and especially in sports, in terms of female representation.
Following questions from the audience, the discussion turned to the interplay between sport and business, with the panel noting the opportunities and willingness of the Australian Rugby community to work with Japanese business. Melanie Brock and Ms Castle agreed that sport represented a bridge between Japanese executives and Australian and New Zealand ones.
ANZCCJ would like to thank Ms Castle, Shannon Parry and Ed Jenkins for sharing their insights. We would also like to thank Melanie Brock for moderating and all attendees for an enjoyable night.