Twigg makes World Cup splash

Emma Twigg, Beyond Greatness Champion, FIFA Women’s World Cup, FMG Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand. Photo: Stephen Barker / Barker Photography ©FIFA

Olympic rower Emma Twigg is using her sporting star power to help rev up support for this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The event, co-hosted in Aotearoa and Australia from July 20 to August 20, is expected to attract two billion global viewers.

“It’s just an exciting event that New Zealanders, I think, are going to be really proud to be hosting,” said Twigg, who lives in Cambridge with her wife Charlotte and one-year-old son Tommy.

“They don’t know quite yet, but they will by the time it’s done.”

The 36-year-old said home crowd support had made racing the world championships on home soil at Lake Karāpiro in 2010 one of the most memorable races of her life.

“I hope that these girls and New Zealanders get so involved that they have that kind of experience as well,” she said. “And I’m sure that will happen. Being at a home world cup or world champs is pretty special.”

Twigg joins a star-studded team of “Beyond Greatness Champions” – which also includes New Zealand’s first Winter Olympic gold medallist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and business leader Dame Therese Walsh – to support and promote the World Cup.

A FIFA spokesperson said the brand ambassadors were a group of inspirational trailblazers who represented the best of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand across sport, entertainment, media, arts, politics and business.

They were a team who are united by their achievements and commitment for change, history makers who exemplify what it means to go beyond greatness, the spokesperson said.

Twigg, who was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2022, finished outside the medals at three Olympic Games before winning gold in Tokyo in 2021. She is now training for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

A former football player herself, she said having the opportunity to promote the Cup and “create some kind of hype about what is going to be an amazing event anyway” was a privilege.

“I think the amazing thing about what these events do – and what we saw again with cricket and rugby – is that young people engage and see themselves out on the field and that inspires another generation.”

She is looking forward to getting to as many games as possible.

“I love live events, the atmosphere, the DJs and what you get versus watching it on TV,” she said.

“It’s entertaining, I imagine the price will be right and you’re supporting kiwis on home turf – you just don’t have that opportunity that often, at a tournament of such status.”

For information about international matches being held in Hamilton, and how to buy tickets, visit

(Tickets are available from and information about matches being played in Hamilton can be accessed at

A feast of football

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is the largest women’s sporting event in the world and was forecast to attract 30,000 international visitors.

Co-hosted by New Aotearoa and Australia and involving 32 international teams, it will kick off with the New Zealand Football Ferns’ first pool match against Norway at Eden Park at 7pm on July 20, and run until August 20.

The Ferns’ two other pool matches are against Philippines at Wellington Regional Stadium on July 25 at 5.30pm, and Switzerland at Dunedin Stadium on July 30 at 7pm.

Waikato Stadium will host five games, including one between Argentina and Sweden.





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