The World Cup organised in 90 days

This weekend Scotland will play in front of a record crowd at Hive Stadium in Edinburgh in the Women’s Six Nations, but the sport was not so established 30 years ago.

In 1991 the first Women’s World Cup took place in Wales. On the back of this, the Netherlands had stepped forward to stage the 1994 event. The Scots, who had played their first international the previous year against Ireland at Raeburn Place, were one of 16 nations to sign up.

However, just three months before the event, the International Rugby Board told the Dutch that they did not have permission to stage any such tournament. So the World Cup was off, no matter that hundreds of dreams were being shattered in the process.

“It wasn’t the right time for the IRB,” says Colamartino. “They were being rushed into a conversation about women’s rugby that they didn’t want to be part of at the time. They actively sought to shut us down and put us in our place.”

Except that Brodie was not having it. She is quietly-spoken and calm, more of an organiser than a rabble-rouser, but still waters run deep.

“When the fax came through I was so disappointed,” says Brodie. “The combination of that emotion and the sense of ‘this just cannot happen’ spurred me on to do something.”

She called a team meeting in Todd’s Tap and outlined a plan so foolhardy it made perfect sense – after a few drinks anyway. Scotland’s women would host the tournament instead of the Netherlands. With no professional staff, no idea what they were doing and only 90 days to do it in.

“The more beer we drank the more convinced we were that it was the best idea we’d ever heard because it meant that our dream was alive again,” says Colamartino. “One of the players was a nurse so Sue said to her, ‘Well, you can organise all the ambulances’. I was a graphic designer at Heriot-Watt University so I was able to stay late and make the programme on the sly. My partner at the time worked in a bank. So he was the treasurer. It was all divvied up in that manner combining our skillsets and pooling our resources.”

Mission control – or broom cupboard central – for the “World Championship”, as they chose to call it to wrongfoot the IRB, was Meadowbank Sports Centre where Brodie was acting manager.

From a tiny room, grounds, referees, accommodation, accreditation, media access and everything else associated with a global tournament was pulled together in spare moments.

“Landlines, languages, time zones, fax machines… it was very stressful,” says Brodie. “But it was the only way of doing it. We just wanted to play.”

Source link

About the author

Opera Jobs

Opera Jobs is a one-stop destination for job seekers and employers alike. This innovative job website was created with the goal of connecting talented individuals with exciting employment opportunities in various industries. Opera Jobs boasts a user-friendly interface that allows job seekers to easily search for jobs based on their preferences, skills, and experience. Employers can also post job listings and seamlessly connect with qualified candidates through the platform. With a wide range of job categories and locations available, Opera Jobs is the perfect platform for both job seekers and employers to find their ideal match in the competitive job market.

Leave a Comment