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Guinness shines a spotlight on female rugby pioneers

The latest story of the iconic “Made of More” series unveils the inspirational story of a Japanese women’s rugby team who stood together, in the face of societal pressure, to pursue their passion for the game

Feature

“Liberty Fields” tells the remarkable tale of a group of women who defied the social conventions of 80s Japan, by forming an ultimately indomitable rugby team. In 1989 Tokyo, women’s rugby was almost unheard of and the team faced ridicule and hostility from all angles. Despite their humble beginnings, they soon became one of the strongest sides around and many of them were selected to represent their country in the Women’s World Cup.

In a year where men’s rugby will dominate the headlines, Guinness shares the inspirational story of a Japanese women's rugby team

Liberty Fields RFC played at this level despite having no coach, no doctor and very little support, instead relying on what they did have – a team. Balancing training with jobs and families, they set a new level for women’s sport in Japan, showing what you can achieve with grit, determination, and an unbreakable spirit.

“It was back in the day, when getting harassed, sexually and otherwise was a given. Men expected women to be young, pretty and willing to quit their jobs for marriage. At the time, the women’s team weren’t recognised as official. So, we founded our own organisation We lose if women can’t play rugby. The reason why we’ve kept on going is because we don’t want to lose. I wanted society to accept that women can love this kind of sport too, not just men.”

Ms Kishida

of the Liberty Fields team

“We firmly believe at Guinness that when we stand together, we can take on the world. In a year where rugby takes centre stage thanks to the men’s team, we are using this pedestal to celebrate women in sport by showcasing the story of Ms Kishida and her Liberty Fields teammates – a team who are truly made of more. Our campaign around the story of Liberty Fields will see us talk more about inclusivity and diversity and celebrate women as pioneers.”

Niall McKee

Head of Guinness Stout Europe

“Liberty Fields” is the latest story of the iconic “Made of More” series, which champions real people around the globe who act with extraordinary integrity and character to enrich the world around them.

Previous films have included ‘Sisters’, which told the story of two sisters who rose through rugby to eventually play for opposing England and Scotland national teams, and ‘Never Alone’, which recounted the poignant story of Gareth Thomas, who through the strength he received from his team had the courage to become the first openly gay professional rugby union player. 

Championing balance in sport

Through our Six Nations partnership we're using the power of Guinness' extensive recognition and reach to show that we stand for better balance in sport.

As the proud partner of the Women’s Six Nations, Guinness worked to enhance the experience of the game for both players and fans, by making simple but significant improvements at women’s fixtures.

This saw the introduction of new game day entertainment and branding, including:

  • Increased provision of match day and game information around the stadium, showing the line-up for both teams, including team profile photos
  • Enhancing the experience within the stadium for fans with pre-match entertainment, such as pyrotechnics and music, and introduction of the ‘pitch side pundit’, where ex and current players give punditry on the home union’s social channel pre-match, during half time, and post-match. 
  • Improving player experience on game days by branding player changing rooms and tunnels

Find out more here