Adelaide wins place in elite rugby series
Kim Evans being inducted into the SA Rugby Hall of Fame By day Kim Evans is the University of Adelaide’s senior legal counsel. In her spare time she’s a self-confessed rugby tragic doing everything she can to promote her sport among girls and young women in South Australia.
Now Kim has been given a unique opportunity to help the University take women’s rugby to an unprecedented elite level – a concept unthinkable until earlier this year.
Kim has been appointed Team Manager of University Rugby Sevens which will identify and train talented young women for the inaugural Aon National University Sevens Series.
Adelaide is one of just eight universities selected for the new competition which will be a key breeding ground for selecting the national squad.
“I’m terribly excited about this, it’s a genuine national pathway and will be the most elite rugby team in SA,” says Kim. “It’s going to make such a difference to the sport in our state.”
While the university team is open to all young women from any sporting background, Adelaide students must make up a minimum 50 per cent of the places.
“The team will be semi-professional with the expectation that they train many times a week,” says Kim. “There will be strength and conditioning as well as high performance programs, rugby field programs, sports science and dietary advice.
“It is genuinely an elite program for elite athletes.”
Australian Rugby Union is organising four tournaments for the competition with the first kicking off in August.
Women’s rugby sevens has enjoyed significant growth across the country since Australia won gold at the Rio Olympics and the recent world series.
But it’s a sport Kim has been passionate about most of her life. Still playing rugby 15s in her forties, she was President of Old Collegians Rugby Club for 10 years, and now runs Firebrand Rugby Sevens, a grassroots club in Adelaide just for women and girls.
It's fair to say that news of the new National University Sevens Series went down well with the young players.
“When I told them at training some started shrieking and one was in tears because it was so exciting and real,” says Kim. “It means they can now have a plan and vision for their sport.”
Story by Ian Williams