THE LEAGUE LADY | The Reality of Women’s Sport and Pay

With the NRLW coming closer, a major talking point has been how much players will be paid. Maddie Studdons resignation from her job as a wharfie showed just how important pay is in the rising competition.

In a time where male players are paid up to and beyond one million dollars a season, female players are often only paid for representative matches, and well below that amount.

While this sounds, and is, unfair, there are a few things to consider. At this point in time, women’s games do not bring in the same revenue through ticket sales, merchandise and memberships that the NRL does. This makes it much harder to provide women with the same rehabilitation and support services while providing equal pay on time. On top of that, some money does need to go back into advertisements and growing the game. On the other hand, there’s are options for the NRL to use to increase female players pay.

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While many female players, especially those at a representative or elite level, have been dedicating most of their time to training and rugby league, this year is the first time that female players will be considered “full time”. The NRL has said that girls will be paid for the NRLW, but are yet to confirm exactly how much, and whether it is per game, weekly or a lump sum.

Unfortunately, this issue is one that takes time. with more attention to the women’s game, complete television rights and a proper NRL competition, more money will be able to be put into the game, and we’ll eventually see female players reaching similar pay to men. There are already several female players sponsored by major sporting brands such as Addidas, or given paid full-time jobs with their contracted NRL clubs, so steps are being made in the right direction.

While it may be unfair now, there’s now steady progress and ways for the NRL to eventually create equal pay.

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