At NothingButLeague we are proud to have some outstanding female writers contribute to our site.
We also acknowledge the hard work of Mary Kaye and the team at ladieswholeague.com (Twitter: @LadiesWhoLeague) in developing a wonderful rugby league site for opinions on the greatest game.
With the National Rugby League’s Women In League round this weekend, we asked the great ladies of our site what makes rugby league the greatest game to be involved in?
Rachel O’Reilly (Twitter: @rchorly)
Women in League Round draws much needed attention and appreciation to the roles of women in competitive sport. These initiatives show real foresight by the NRL. In the last twelve months, we have seen the addition of our first two female game officials. This gives all women in (and on the periphery of) league a valuable sense of belonging. This progression quiets our critics and welcomes us into the ranks of rugby league as members and contributors to league culture.
Darcie McDonald (Twitter: @DarcieMcDonald)
Rugby League is the greatest game to be involved for many reasons, but one that sticks out to me in particular is the incredible amount of fans that travel far and wide to support their team each week. In my opinion, the passion that Rugby League fans embody cannot be beaten by any other sport in Australia. For the past five years I have been a NRL cheerleader and have had the privilege of meeting hundreds of fans from every club who deck themselves out in their team’s colours and cheer them on in rain, hail or shine. The Rugby League community is fantastic, it encourages people of all ages, from many different backgrounds, nationalities and life experiences to come together and support a game that we all share a mutual love for.
Hannah McGrory (Twitter: @hclaire29)
When I think of rugby league I think family. We are family.
My grandfather was lucky enough to referee first grade and he passed his love of rugby league down to his sons, whom then passed it down to me.
I have been a passionate rugby league fan for five years now and I wouldn’t change that for the world. Rugby league is a huge part of my life. I love to watch, write and talk about it all day every day.
The love for the game definitely was family influenced and being a part of a team is a great feeling. Having a sense of connection is hard to come by but with rugby league you know it will always be there.
To become a fan you always find the connection you have with a club, usually it’s location but in my case it was my mum working with Kieran Foran’s dad. This gave me an affiliation towards Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. As I started watching them progress and achieve great things (including the premiership in 2011) you begin to become more and more involved with the game itself. You start watching more and more NRL games such as the Australian Kangaroos and Origin, supporting it religiously.
There are ups and downs to the game that you constantly feel involved with. Especially currently with my favourite player being Daly Cherry Evans, from the year he started (2010) at the Sea Eagles, watching him grow as a player and progress to the talent he is today is special. That’s why you watch league; you want to be the first one to notice the new, young, upcoming and talented individual. Following players through the game can also be difficult especially if they decide to move clubs but you keep your head high, know you will support them wherever they go and acknowledge the brilliant decision to play for your club.
National Rugby League was such a positive influence in my life as it became a distraction to reality and I would always have a smile on my face while watching it. The games always make me nervous but excited and that will never change and neither will my love for Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.
Shanaya Gregg (Twitter: @shanaya_lindaxo)
Round 10 is undoubtably my favourite round on the NRL calendar. Not only is it a weekend dedicated to celebrating the incredible work women in league do but it’s a round where I personally, appreciate the game I adore that little bit more.
Rugby League offers more than just weekend entertainment. It invokes passion. Creates debate, rivalry. As cliche as it sounds, Rugby league is more than just a game and I feel honoured to be even a small part of it.
Embedded into my way of life, Rugby league has taught me the meaning of success, the truths of disappointment but above all else the true power of sport and it’s capability to bring families, friends and fans closer than ever. I encourage all NRL fans to get out and support their club on this incredible weekend and thank the amazing women that help make this game the greatest of all.