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Linda Djougang and Beibhinn Parsons Download Image


Four in five (81%) think that more needs to be done to get girls playing sport from a young age

Almost two thirds of women (64%) wish they had played more sports as a child

More than half of women (52%) have never played a team sport

ALDI Play Rugby has worked hard to encourage girls to play sport and increase female participation in rugby from a young age. With the TikTok Women’s Six Nations kicking off on March 25th, ALDI has undertaken research* into female participation in sport.

Among the survey’s findings were that nearly two thirds of women (64%) say they wish they had played more sport as a child. Additionally, it found that over half of female respondents (52%) have never played a team sport compared to just 25% of male respondents. Moreover, it found evidence that a lack of participation in sport in childhood carries through to adulthood with men more than twice as likely as women to be active in a team sport (33% vs. 15%). 

Respondents agreed that playing sports can confer huge benefits to children, both on and off the playing field. For instance, 91% of female respondents believe that sport provides a valuable social outlet for children. Elsewhere, 89% of women surveyed think that sport provides kids with important skills that can be transferred to other areas of their lives, including school, friendships and beyond, as well as huge mental benefits. Finally, 87% of female respondents agree that playing sports can help kids make friends. 

While attitudes around women and sport may be changing, ALDI knows that there is still considerable work to be done. Four in five (81%) of those surveyed think that more needs to be done to get girls involved in sport from a young age. That’s where ALDI Play Rugby comes in. Developed by the IRFU and supported by ALDI, ALDI Play Rugby is a free, supervised, and non-contact rugby programme that provides children with a fun introduction to the sport. Schools are offered access to invaluable resources including sessions with Community Rugby Officers, online coaching resources, and free coaching equipment.

ALDI Play Rugby is playing its part when it comes to breaking barriers with girls making up 50% of the programme’s participants. In doing so, it is helping to ensure that the next generation of girls feel empowered to stay active and involved in sports into adolescence and adulthood. 

Speaking about ALDI Play Rugby, Linda Djougang, ALDI ambassador and Irish Rugby International, said: “As a young woman, sport has changed my life in countless ways. It has helped instill confidence, taught me leadership skills, and given me experiences I could only have ever dreamed of – including representing Ireland in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations! With the support of ALDI and Irish Rugby, I hope more girls and women are given the opportunity to play sports and experience the physical and mental benefits firsthand for themselves.”

Beibhinn Parsons, ALDI ambassador and Irish Rugby International, added: “While great strides have been made when it comes to encouraging girls and women to take part in sports, this survey shows that there is more work to be done. As an ALDI ambassador, I am immensely proud of the work ALDI and Irish Rugby have done to nurture the next generation of Irish rugby players. It warms my heart to see so many young girls picking up a rugby ball thanks to the ALDI Play Rugby programme. With the right support, I firmly believe that many will develop a lifelong grá for the sport and have no doubt that we’ll see some of them in the green jersey in years to come!” 

Rita Kirwan, Director of Marketing, ALDI IrelandSport changes lives. Not only does it help foster healthy habits that can last a lifetime, but it also enables kids to make new friends, acquire leadership skills that can be used on and off the pitch, and develop resilience. ALDI Play Rugby has made a difference to so many children, especially girls. I hope even more primary schools will get on board this year so we can get more kids out playing sports.”

Fancy winning sports equipment worth up to €50,000 for your primary school? Then don’t forget to enter this year’s ALDI Play Rugby Sticker Competition.

ALDI shoppers can collect one sticker for every €25 spent in any of the 155 ALDI stores nationwide. A completed poster of 300 stickers will earn the school an entry into the prize draw. Posters have been sent out to over 2,000 primary schools nationwide and can be ordered from Almost 4,000 completed posters have already been submitted, showing a huge appetite from schools for funding for sports equipment. The closing date for entries is April 27th, 2023. One school will win €50,000 and another 10 schools will win €5,000 for their school’s sporting facilities.

Additionally, each sticker offers ALDI customers a chance to win their weekly shop! All customers have to do is scan the QR code on the back of their sticker and enter the unique code at for a chance to win one of 10 x €200 ALDI gift cards weekly from January 16th until April 23rd, 2023.

For more information on ALDI Play Rugby, please visit:

For more information, please contact the Aldi Press Office on:
T: 01 5252544 or