Ladies and gentlemen – we’re finally here.

Last Monday the NRL officially launched Women in League Round and our I was lucky enough to be there.

It was a sensational event and it was great to hear from women of influence in the game like Raelene Castle. It was also a pleasure to meet the mum of Brett and Josh Morris and to see how unwavering her support of her two boys has been. It is undeniable that we are approaching a very special round of football – and you should all tell your friends.

It’s time to get talking about Women in League Round. Here at Ladies who League we are planning a massive celebration.  We don’t want to ruin it, but keep your eyes on the site over the next 2 weeks, it’s going to be worth the wait.

We’re not the only ones celebrating.

The NRL are also celebrating with some new initiatives for the round.

First of all, more than 130 women will take part this month in the NRL’s inaugural leadership workshop series.  This was announced along with the Wellbeing and Balance Workshop which is the start of an ongoing program led by the NRL to invest in the fastest growing area of influence in the game – women.

There will be 4 workshops held all across Eastern Australia including in Wollongong and on the Sunshine Coast.

NRL Chief Operating Officer Jim Doyle stressed the importance of this new initiative, saying that ‘it is important for women and girls to be able to get involved in the game and make them feel proud of their role and their contribution to Rugby League.’

If you don’t believe me when I say that the fastest growing are of influence in the game are women, here are some stats that might change your mind –

·         female player registrations have increased 66% over the last 12 months;

·         40 per cent of club positions are held by women;

·         there are 6 women in NRL club board positions at the Broncos, Cowboys, Rabbitohs, Sea Eagles, Titans and Warriors;

·         39% of NRL fans are women;

·         throughout 1300 grassroots clubs, more than 2500 women hold senior volunteer positions in 2014;

·         the number of female coaches continues to rise with 265 in 2014; and

·         there are 19 countries around the world where women plan rugby league including Australia, France, England, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Russia.

There has also been much to celebrate in the last 12 months. Significant achievements include the appointment of Raelene Castle as CEO of the Bulldogs, the appointment of Corene Strauss as Men of League CEO, the appointment of Rebecca Frizelle as the Titans Board Chair and Linda Burney as the ARL Indigenous Council Chair. The Jillaroos won the Women’s Rugby League World Cup for the first time, we won the Trans-Tasman series in all 3 divisions last month and Kasey Badger and Belinda Sleeman have become the first female referees to be included in the full-time elite match officials squad.

But we still have a long way to go. So as we start the lead up to a sensational round of football, remember the series of ways women influence the game and then…. tell a friend!

Love,

Ladies who League

P.S. Thanks to the NRL for sharing the information which helped me write this story.

For more stories from Ladies Who League go to their website