Barbara is co-chair with Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Women's Sport and Fitness. The group were alarmed to hear of reported proposals to split the Women’s Six Nations tournament into two tiers in future. This would reduce the number of competitive games played by each of the countries.
Barbara and Tanni Grey-Thompson, together with group vice-chair Tracey Crouch MP and Sue Tibballs, Chief Executive of the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation have written to the Chief Executive Officers of the English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish rugby unions asking them to reject these proposals at the next meeting of the Rugby Six Nations Council on 10th April.
Their letter states that downgrading the Six Nations tournament would diminish opportunities for women playing rugby, and that reducing sporting opportunities will be harmful to the health and personal development of girls and young women.
"The Six Nations is the biggest annual tournament in women's rugby, and is much-loved by both fans and players. To downgrade this tournament would be a big blow both to the players and all of the young women who grow up dreaming of representing their country at a national level.
"At a time when the majority of women and girls do not do enough exercise to benefit their health, we should be inspiring them to take up more sporting activities, not limiting their options."