Maria Thomas began playing rugby as an adult in 2001. She migrated to Trinidad and Tobago from Canada in 2010, continuing to play as a member of the UWI RFC who at the time, had only a Men’s Team. Seeking an opportunity on the National Team, she joined Caribs RFC to play with their Women’s Team, and later played with UWI and a combined UWI/Tobago Women’s Teams. She achieved her first National cap for Trinidad and Tobago in 2016 at the RAN 10s Tournament in Miami, Florida. She then went on to represent the country in Rugby 7s including tours at home, in Mexico, Barbados, Cayman Islands, and most recently at the 2019 PanAm Games in Lima, Peru.
An inaugural recipient of World Rugby’s Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship, she has added a Masters in Sports Administration from the Russian International Olympic University to a list of other qualifications including a Bachelors in Anthropology. Maria served as the Honorary Secretary of the TTRFU from 2015 until being elected as President in 2021. She is also a member of the Rugby Americas North (RAN) Women in Leadership Directive (WiLD) and a Project Manager for World Rugby’s Captains’ Club. Using an extensive global network, Maria continues to advocate for Trinidad and Tobago Rugby at local, regional, and global levels. She believes that applying an athlete centred approach to governance with a strong focus on collaboration throughout the community is integral to the success of the Union.
Having initiated and maintained media platforms to engage and expand the community, transparent, accessible communication is a fundamental characteristic of her leadership. She implements innovative strategies to develop rugby in the pandemic and post-pandemic environment by accessing available resources and directing opportunities to the community.