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8th July 2004

Gill Burns Elected Figurehead for Waterloo

Gill Burns has made history by being elected as the first female president of Waterloo men's rugby club. Burns, who is a former England international player, current president of the Rugby Football Union for Women (RFUW) and Vice-President of the Women's Sports Foundation, will start her two-year tenure as president of Waterloo FC in Liverpool at the start of next season.

Burns set up the women's section of Waterloo FC in 1989 and has been involved as a player and board member ever since. Her nomination as president was made by the past presidents of the club, and she will now act as a figurehead for the team and travel to all matches.

Burns commented: "being elected as president was a real surprise! It's a fantastic honour to be asked to be president of a big famous old rugby club and it's a great opportunity for me to spread the word about women's rugby in predominately male rugby environments. The more people are exposed to women's rugby the more quickly it will move forward."

As a player Burns played internationally as recently as the 2002 Women's World Cup. She was elected president of the RFUW shortly afterwards and still maintains that position. "Waterloo are accommodating my England duties and have nominated a vice president to fill in for me when there are clashes with international women's games that I attend as part of my role as president of the RFUW." She still occasionally puts on a pair of boots for Waterloo Ladies, who are in the North I division. "When I retired, I retired from playing every day. I play social games now for Waterloo, the British Lionesses and the Nomads but I now need months to recover from matches rather than days!"

Burns is far from old, however. Only just about to hit 40, she is relatively young to be a president. "I believe that a figurehead should be in touch with the players and know what's going on. It's a great honour that people consider that I can do this type of role and I look forward to the next two years as president of Waterloo FC."

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