Jackie Weaver

Jackie Weaver, the star of the chaotic Handforth Parish Council Zoom meeting that became a viral sensation last month, has been revealed as the chair of Edge Hill University’s flagship International Women’s Day event.

Jackie became a national hero overnight when she attempted to keep order while chaos descended on a Cheshire parish council Zoom meeting with members shouting at each other and being removed for misbehaviour.

Internet sensation Jackie has been given the authority to chair the University’s exclusive online event with rugby legend and honorary doctor Gill Burns MBE on Monday 8th March 2021, 16:00- 17:00, to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Gill Burns MBE
Gill Burns MBE receiving her title Honorary Doctor of Science in 2019

Having worked in local government for more than 25 years, Jackie was invited to host Edge Hill’s event in light of her career that reflects the University’s values and deep-rooted history in championing women and campaigning for justice, democracy and inclusion.

In this special Q&A event, Gill Burns, Women’s Rugby World Cup winner and trailblazer for the sport, will deliver an empowering talk about her ethos on why you should never let gender stand in the way of your dreams.

Described as a pioneer and a sporting heroine in women’s rugby, Gill has been instrumental in breaking down stereotypes in the sport by being the first woman to referee at Twickenham and one of the first six women to be indicted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2014.

Guests will hear about the highs and lows of Gill’s outstanding international career representing England between 1988 and 2002, which saw her win 73 caps for her country and a rugby competition to be renamed the Gill Burns County Championship Cup in 2017 in her honour.

Edge Hill University also celebrated Gill’s sporting achievements and her work to champion women in rugby by awarding her an Honorary Doctor of Science in 2019.

At the time she received her award, Gill said: “Over the years it has been an honour to be described as a pioneer, a trailblazer and a sporting heroine with regards to women’s rugby but I was simply doing what I loved with commitment and passion. We were blissfully unaware of the fact that we were blazing a trail, we just wanted to play our chosen game as we knew no one else would sort it out for us. We had to do it ourselves.”

Tickets for the free online event are open to the public and can be booked online.

If you would like to submit a question in advance for consideration to ask Gill at the event, please email communications@edgehill.ac.uk.