The England and Harlequins player Shaunagh Brown has ‘signed’ as an ambassador for Raleigh International to encourage young people from all walks of life to to embrace the challenge of adventure.
Having smashed through many glass ceilings in her remarkable life, rugby star Shaunagh Brown is perfectly positioned to tackle her latest challenge as the new ambassador for Raleigh International.
In the new role, the Harlequins and ex-England rugby player will use her platform and passion for equality and diversity to inspire young people from all walks of life to challenge themselves and embrace the challenge of adventure.
To announce her ‘signing’ with Raleigh, Shaunagh – who recently came out of retirement visited Medway RFC in Kent – visited the club where she started her career in rugby. After being presented with a bespoke iconic green t-shirt by Raleigh’s managing director Lucy Constable Fernandez, Shaunagh took time to chat with the club’s Under 18 girls team during their training session.
Shaunagh, who grew up in a single parent family and working-class environment, has spent her life and career breaking down barriers, and is passionate about helping young people from less advantaged disadvantaged backgrounds do the same. Her career path has been unconventional, having worked as a heating engineer for British Gas, a firefighter, and commercial diver before rising to the top of rugby, a sport considered elitist by many.
As an icon of the club and international game, she has used her platform to raise awareness of several issues close to her heart such as social, gender and racial equality, body image and the importance of physical activity for young people.
Shaunagh said: “I’ve had to push myself out of my comfort zone throughout my life to try and achieve more than might be expected from someone like me. I had to be brave and expose myself to difficult challenges at times and that’s what I want to encourage others to do.
“In my role as an ambassador, I want to show that you don’t have to be a certain type of person to go on a Raleigh Expedition. It doesn’t matter where you are from or what your background is.
“I’ll be telling young people about the new charitable foundation and also encouraging them to be brave and go and take up space that doesn’t have your name on it. Be the only type of person like you in the room. Use the experience to get to know who you are, what environments bring out the best in you and expose yourself to new challenges.”
“One of my messages will ‘You are capable of more than you realise’ and it’s amazing what you can do when you step out of your comfort zone.”
In her role, Shaunagh will speak at schools, host presentations, build partnerships with like-minded organisations in her network, promote Raleigh on social media and help Raleigh launch its charitable foundation.
Lucy Constable Fernandez, Managing Director of Raleigh International, said: “We are thrilled to have Shaunagh on our team as she takes up her role as our new Ambassador for Raleigh International.
“Shaunagh is an incredibly inspirational person who has shown throughout her life and career many of the values we hold at Raleigh such as courage and the importance of challenging yourself, leadership and teamworking skillsnever giving up.
“She also has a powerful authentic voice and a passion for equal opportunities. As we prepare to create a new charitable foundation, Shaunagh will play a key role in helping us inspire more young people from diverse backgrounds to join an Expedition and let them know that Raleigh is for everyone.”