We’ve been involved in our 4 brand sports from the very beginning, below are some of the stories and developments we’ve witnessed over the years! We hope the next step in this story involves pro contracts and for young girls to see sport as an opportunity to grow, express and enjoy and most importantly as a career.
With the above in mind, we’re proud as a group to announce an exciting and unique opportunity to join each of our four family brands. Five ambassador agreements are up for grabs for each, entry details can be found at the bottom of this blog.
2002: Going back 20 years ago, Gilbert supplied the kit to the England women’s team for their match against Wales. Let’s be honest, looking back we can sit here and cringe about the sizing and fit. Lots of excess material, poor sizing and really, not very helpful when playing elite rugby.
2022: Today, we can proudly say that we’ve certainly given our clothing a much needed makeover! Gilbert supplies the kit to the Barbarian FC Women’s team. Gone are the baggy shirts and in are the women’s specific kit built for performance and engineered for the great demand of the game we know and love.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE GILBERT WORLD?
As for lots of people, 2022 is the year for change, especially in women’s rugby. This is going to be a momentous year for female rugby players across the world and Gilbert will be right in the thick of it, making a positive impact.
Not only will we be at the centre of every match of the Tik Tok Women’s Six Nations, but we have also been at the centre of every match of the Allianz Premier 15s this season as well.
We are also proudly working with AP 15s star, Flo Williams. Fly-half at Wasps and Wales, Flo is also the Founder of The Perception Agency, which brings awareness to how women’s sport is portrayed through marketing.
Gilbert will also be proudly at centre of the action at the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021, The Commonwealth Games, and the RWC 7s!
Grab an official ball now! bit.ly/3IPyCPq
All in all, 2022 is looking to be an exciting year for women’s rugby and we can’t wait to be a part of it.
It has been a thrill to welcome one of game’s great players in Tammy Beaumont to Gray-Nicolls. Tammy is recognised as a modern great, so to have her onboard is a sign of our intent for the future. She’s currently playing for England in the ongoing Cricket World Cup, and will be a huge part of the Commonwealth Games and The Hundred in the second half of the year.
She was joined at Gray-Nicolls by England’s young superstar Sophia Dunkley. Dunkley is already a history maker after becoming the first black woman to play Test cricket for England, and we are so excited for what the future will bring for her. Sophia is also in New Zealand for CWC22.
We also secured the signing of young England Lions player Eleanor Threlkeld, while teenage prodigy Alice Capsey – who came to mainstream prominence in The Hundred – signed a new contract with us. Both players are sure to play key roles in the second edition of The Hundred, with international honours sure to follow soon.
Finally, as of today, we are delighted to announce the signing of Georgia Adams. The Southern Vipers and Oval Invincables batter has long been touted as future International star, and is sure to be at forefront of The Hundred and the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Trophy this summer.
2022 saw us expand our range, launching the new GEM range which is a slightly narrower and shorter bat which allows for more comfort at the crease. This range has been designed with input from top female players and is designed for maximum impact, as the bat is designed to give the biggest possible sweetspot without compromising on weight. This has been a real trailblazer in the Women’s Game and we have loved watching Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Winfield-Hill and Sophia Dunkley showcase it on the international stage.
We’ve also extended our size offering in our other product categories, with additional options in pads and gloves, along with new women’s cuts in our clothing collection to ensure that we cater for everyone.
Sofia Martin signs International contract
We are very pleased that Sofia Martin, who has recently been selected for the Great Britain Elite Development Programme (U23s), has agreed to sign an International contract with Grays. Sofia has made this achievement aged just 17. Grays have sponsored Sofia for the last 2 years and are pleased to be able to offer her continued support as her career develops.
Outside of hockey Sofia has played age group football for Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Women and attained nine grade 9s at GCSE.
“I am grateful to have had Grays support my hockey career so far and so thrilled to be continuing my journey with them as a GB EDP Athlete.”
Break The Bias
“The theme for this year's IWD, 'break the bias', is a call to action. The fight for gender equity has, for too long, placed responsibility at the door of women and girls, but we all need to recognise the gender bias that exists within the systems that govern our workplaces, our schools and colleges and our communities. But it doesn't stop there, recognition isn't enough, we all have a responsibility to actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping whenever we see it and stand together with those that do.”
We love to look back to how far the game has come, did you know, in England since 2005, there has been a 112% increase in netball participation and since the 2019 Netball World Cup, over 159,000 adult women were inspired to play more netball or take up netball for the first time! It doesn't stop there though, and we are so excited to be apart of the growth of netball in years to come.
At Gilbert, we are honored to have so many brilliant ambassadors working with our brand, playing netball across the globe. Below are just some of our international players, but you can find a full gallery of all our players here.
George Fisher - England Netball and Southern Steel
Beth Cobden - England Netball and Loughborough Lightening
Malysha Kelly - Jamaica Netball and Severn Stars
Felisitus Kwangwa - Zimbabwe and Surrey Storm
WIN A YEAR’S SPONSORSHIP WITH GILBERT RUGBY, GRAYS HOCKEY, GILBERT NETBALL & GRAY NICOLLS
As part of the International Women's Day celebrations this year, we want you to share your passion for the game of rugby.
It’s simple, create and post a video, showing us what rugby means to you, and we'll pick 5 of our favourites to receive a full kit sponsorship for a whole year!
Here’s how to enter:
- Post a video to Instagram reels or TikTok (or both!)
- Tag Gilbert Rugby, Gray Nicolls Cricket, Grays Hockey or Gilbert Netball and hashtag #showusyourpassion
#IWD2022 #showusyourpassion #BreakTheBias
*Sponsorship open to Women's players in the UK & EU only.
**5 winners will be selected by a panel and will be awarded a years sponsorship which will include £500 worth of kit plus 50% discount off any additional equipment.
***Closing Date for entries is 22nd March 2022.
HEAD OF WOMEN’S SPORT
Grays of Cambridge were delighted to announce the appointment of their first ever Head of Women’s Sport – Great Britain Olympian Sarah Robertson. A bronze medallist from Tokyo 2020, Sarah brings fantastic pedigree to the role as we continue to grow our presence across all four of our brands.
After a short time in the role it’s exciting to see some of the progress we are making. There is a great appetite to do more to support the growth of Women’s Sport and ensure we are producing world class products for everyone. International Women’s Day provides a great opportunity for us to stop and reflect on our journey so far, and to look ahead and think big.
- Sarah Robertson, Head of Women’s Sport.