One of Britain’s greatest sportswomen, Maggie Alphonsi is a former rugby union international who won some of the biggest honours in the game. This includes winning the Six Nations for seven consecutive years and making history as part of England’s iconic World Cup-winning team in 2014. Not only has Maggie seen success on the pitch but she has also been honoured with several individual accolades including being inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2016. Now a successful corporate speaker, she reflects on the racism and sexism she continues to endure as a commentator, opening audiences’ eyes to the realities Black female athletes face.
Maggie’s biggest success undoubtedly came in 2014 when she was part of the England team that won the Women’s Rugby World Cup for the first time in 20 years. In total, she earned 74 caps for her country, scoring 140 points. Maggie retired following the World Cup, the perfect send-off after years at the top. Other awards she secured included being named Sunday Times ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ in 2010 and becoming the first woman to ever win the prestigious Pat Marshall Award from the Rugby Union Writers’ Club. A true inspiration, she imparts with audiences the determination she employed to face sexism and racism from online trolls, following such success.
Now, she remains one of the most respected personalities in rugby and can often be found offering her unique perspective on both men’s and women’s matches. In 2019, Maggie was on the panel for the World Rugby Men’s Awards selecting the best player, coach and team. As well as this she’s an avid charity campaigner working as an ambassador for the likes of Wooden Spoon, SKRUM, Peace One Day and Sporting Equals. Passionate about Sporting Equals, an organisation that promoted diversity in sport, Maggie discusses the importance of equal opportunities at events, teaching audiences how to improve workplace inclusion.
When hired as a BAME speaker, Maggie often inspires audiences with tales from her sporting career, demonstrating how it’s possible to compete in a male-dominated sport. As well as this she can discuss her Nigerian heritage and her experiences with race and discrimination. Since hanging up her boots she has gone on to become an established BAME speaker wowing audience members everywhere with her fascinating anecdotes from a life in the game. As a Black sportswoman who reached the top of her sport, she can add a unique insight on sexism, racism and the importance of diverse representation in rugby.
Maggie Alphonsi is regularly booked to engage audiences at events, read their latest feedback below:
“Maggie was our guest speaker at our inaugural International Women’s Day event and it couldn’t have gone better. She was relatable to both the men & women in the room and her personal stories were both funny and inspiring. We were delighted with how the event went and we are very appreciative that she stayed behind to talk to our Associates.”
“Having heard lots about what a great addition to an event Maggie would be, she did not disappoint – from the moment she arrived, her warm smile and easy manner made her a fantastic guest – she was happy to be interviewed, delivering passionate viewpoints about her personal story in rugby then chatting effortlessly to staff – and then taking part in a very honest way in our panel discussion – finally, joining us for drinks and more chatting after, she was just brilliant and inspiring – as well as incredibly honest which is so refreshing. We really enjoyed having her and everyone commented that she was a fantastic addition to the event.”
“Please may you pass on a huge thanks to Maggie for taking the time to talk with our team and share her wisdom. We have already received terrific feedback on how engaging and actionable her talk was. Maggie’s talk was extremely thought-provoking and insightful in conveying what it means to be an accountable leader as well as energising the group.”
“Maggie was really strong on the topic and extremely articulate so we would love to work with her again at some point. Please thank her for her time”
“Thank you Maggie for sharing your experiences. You’re a great role model and ambassador. It’s heart-breaking hearing the racism and misogyny you experienced over the years. I admire your approach to coping/challenging that. You’re leading the D&I work and ensuring future female sports professionals don’t have the same experiences as yourself”