Partners launch Empower Her project for local young women playing grassroots and professional sport in North London and Hertfordshire

 New 12-month project will provide 30 young women with the opportunity to gain qualifications and experience to support them in developing leadership roles through sport.

  • The course will include a mentoring scheme, matching young amateur sportswomen with elite players from both Saracens Women’s Rugby and Mavericks Netball teams
  • Saracens Women’s Rugby captain, Lotte Clapp and Mavericks netball captain, Sasha Corbin will open the programme and participate as mentors.
  • The launch comes amid the need to boost female representation in top sports jobs, with only 30% of board positions at national governing bodies held by women. *

Saracens Foundation, the charitable arm of Saracens, and Shawbrook Bank have launched a new leadership programme for young women in North London and Hertfordshire designed to inspire the next generation of female leaders through sport.

Empower Her will involve 30 participants including 15 young women aged 16-25 from amateur sports clubs in the region and 15 elite sports women from Saracens Women’s Rugby and Mavericks Netball teams.

Offering a unique combination of skills workshops, access to inspirational leaders and practical application with the opportunity to gain a formal qualification at the end, the project is also structured to match each amateur sportswoman with a mentor from the elite teams.

The launch comes amid the need to boost female representation in top sports jobs. Research by Women in Sport found that only 30% of board positions at national governing bodies are held by females, who also make up just 10% of the UK’s high performance coaches.*

The first 12-month scheme was launched by Saracens Women’s Rugby Captain, Lotte Clapp and Mavericks Netball Captain, Sasha Corbin – both mentors on the programme – at an event at the club’s StoneX Stadium in Hendon, London on Wednesday 22nd September.

The course will focus on developing a mix of personal, leadership and business skills and is designed to fit around the participants’ work and other education commitments. It will be delivered primarily online with monthly in-person workshops delivered by a host of inspirational female leaders in sport including Saracen’s chairperson Lucy Wray; author, broadcaster and Women’s Sport Trust trustee Sue Anstiss MBE; and professional wheelchair tennis player Lauren Jones.

The programme is funded by Shawbrook Bank and free for participants.

Charlie White, development manager at the Saracens Foundation, said: “We run over 30 programmes designed to address a broad range of challenges that impact our community. Gender equality and social mobility are both issues that continue to hold people back from fulfilling their potential are we’re deeply passionate about tackling them.

“Working with Shawbrook Bank to develop the Empower Her programme, we believe we can make a real difference for local young women, providing them with an opportunity to build the skills they need to become the leaders of tomorrow.

“The project will provide a balanced mix of mentoring and workshops that will help to inspire and equip this group of young women to excel in their future careers.”

Jo Grobel, head of CEO Office at Shawbrook Bank, said: “The incredible work that the Saracens Foundation delivers across the region resonates with all of us at Shawbrook. We set out to make a difference together and we’re incredibly proud to be working with them on this new project by not only funding it but also playing an active part throughout.

“We’re also excited by the culmination of the programme, which will see our participants deliver a charity touch-rugby tournament at the StoneX, giving them not just the practical experience of organising, promoting and delivering a major event, but in helping to fund the project next year as Empower Her is designed to be financially self-sustaining.

“Empower Her has the potential to make a big impact and to unlock real opportunity for all those involved, which we couldn’t be prouder to support.”

Shawbrook Bank entered into a multi-year partnership with Saracens in April as the club’s official banking partner, the first principal sponsor to support all three elite teams and the Saracens Foundation.



For more information, please contact:

 Shawbrook Bank: 07708 911 622

 Notes to editors  

 *According to Women In Sport, Beyond 30% report 2018.

 About the Saracens Foundation

The Saracens Foundation was founded out of a need…

Since 2000, the charity has been working across Hertfordshire and North London with the aim of transforming lives on and off the pitch to build stronger communities.

It works collaboratively to enhance the education, employability and health of our communities, to build a stronger and more inclusive society for all. Its programmes address specific social needs within our community by encouraging increased participation in sport and physical activity; breaking down barriers to participation for specific excluded groups, developing interventions to address health issues and developing pathways into education and employment.

 About Shawbrook Bank

Shawbrook is a specialist UK savings and lending bank founded in 2011 to serve the needs of SMEs and individuals in the UK with a range of lending and saving products. We are a growing UK specialist bank that challenges the conventional approach of the mainstream banks, with our thoughtful and good-sense approach to the way we do business.

Proudly Different.