Scottish Rugby, the country’s governing body for rugby union, has appointed Gemma Fay as the new head of women and girls’ rugby.
Fay, who won 203 caps as goalkeeper for the Scotland national women’s soccer team in a 19-year career, joins from Sportscotland, the country’s national agency for sport, where she worked as a partnerships manager with several governing bodies from 2009.
The former Scotland captain will report to Stephen Gemmell, Scottish Rugby’s head of academy and performance programmes, suggesting she will focus on the development of women’s elite rugby.
The 35-year-old, who retired from soccer following Scotland’s exit from the 2017 Uefa Women's Championship after they failed to make it past the group stages, has 14 years’ experience as a professional in the sports industry, and has been an international athlete for two decades.
She will take up her new role in January 2018, replacing Sheila Begbie, who was promoted to director of domestic rugby for Scottish Rugby in September.
"I felt like this would be a perfect opportunity to use the skills I have developed as a professional in the sports industry," Fay said. “There has been a lot of progress across the women and girls’ game in the past couple of years and it is vital we now build on that momentum, both at grassroots level right through to the national team to put a sustainable and robust programme in place.”
"We are very excited about bringing Gemma to Scottish Rugby,” added Scott Johnson, director of Scotland Rugby. "Not only has she had a significant career in elite sport at an international level, but Gemma has also worked with different sports and understands what it takes to build and deliver the type of programme we want to achieve for women and girls in Scotland."