The LA Giltinis have broken new ground with Canada’s Alana Gattinger entrusted with the management post as Director of Business Operations.
Giltinis General Manager Adam Freier said Gattinger’s experience in logistics, events and elite rugby team environments made her an ideal fit for the front-office role at the new Major League Rugby club.
“This is a World Class appointment, and further demonstrates what we are investing in the sport here in Los Angeles, both from a front office and rugby program perspective. Said Freier
“She is a pioneer, not because she was the first ever female Team Manager at a Rugby World for Canada and work with World Rugby, but because she is exceptional at her craft, innovated and has a unique perspective of the game of Rugby and its values.”
Gattinger, 31, is a trailblazer for women in leadership roles in rugby.
She became the first female team manager at the Rugby World Cup when working with Canada at the 2019 edition in Japan.
“The focus of the job will be the commercial side of the business but I think all of the areas of rugby I worked in at Rugby Canada for eight years will contribute to the Giltinis,” Gattinger said.
“It’s exciting to be involved at a progressive club and one that is already proving successful on the field.
“I had some really positive talks with Adam, who said he wanted a strong person with certain skills for the role not someone of a certain gender.
“Adam has three daughters of his own so I’m sure he sees it as important that the Giltinis are a well-rounded club, not a boys’ club.”
Gattinger completed a Masters in Sports Management at the University of Ottawa in 2012 before her eight years at Rugby Canada.
It included touring roles to the 2015 and 2019 World Cups as well as experience in stadium operations which will be invaluable at the Giltinis’ impressive home ground at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Gattinger is awaiting a visa so she can join the Giltinis in Los Angeles where the team has a bye week after their turbo-charged 2-0 start to the MLR season.
“Understanding the operational and commercial sides of the North American rugby landscape will allow me to be a positive contributor with the Giltinis because I can bring both sides of our organization together to make sure we all work as one” Gattinger said.
“I received some lovely emails when I was named Canada’s RWC team manager. One from a mother said my role had inspired her daughter to pursue a job in sport.
“That’s really meaningful because we need more women believing they can take on these roles.”
Gattinger said the impact of MLR’s professionalism is already proving a positive for both the Canadian and USA national teams.
“We’ve seen other teams bypass Canada in recent years so the opportunity the MLR now gives players of both countries to play year-round is enormous. You’re not going to see players turn up for camps without having played a game of rugby for months anymore,” Gattinger said.
“The MLR has had a ton of positive impact so far and the benefits will keep growing.”
After their strong 57-26 thrashing of the Seattle Seawolves last weekend, the Giltinis will be on the road against the Atlanta-based Toronto Arrows on April 10.
The match will be broadcast live on Bally Sports SoCal at 10:30am PT and can also be viewed live on The Rugby Network internationally.