Dragons second-rower Talesha Quinn hopes the NRL's Road to Region initiative will stimulate the growth of the new women's rugby league competition in central west NSW which is due to start on Saturday.
Quinn – along with Roosters prop Ruan Sims, Dragons centre Euan Aitken and Panthers prop Tim Grant – will represent the NRLW and the NRL in a visit to the regional towns of Coolah, Dunedoo and Wellington from February 4 to February 10.
Quinn, who grew up in Parkes, knows the influence that NRL stars from the NSW central west like Josh Jackson, Andrew Ryan, Tyrone Peachey and Jesse Ramien still have on the local competitions.
The 29-year-old hopes women from the central west who love rugby league can help build a strong regional women's competition, that in turn could lead to a pathway to the NRLW.
"There is so much undiscovered female talent out in the country," Quinn said.
"Growing up in Parkes we were always at footy on the weekend but for the girls we could only play touch football or netball.
"The women's league tag competition is growing each year out there but to have a women's rugby league competition starting is going to be amazing and it will grow the game so much."
The Road to Regions initiative is being hosted across eight different locations in New South Wales and Queensland and aims to support and empower rugby league communities with past and present players taking part in educational programs at schools, visits to junior rugby league clubs and attending fundraising events.
Quinn, who is still in rehab due to a reoccurring knee injury, said delivering messages around mental and physical well-being was a crucial aspect of the trip.
"As well as encouraging kids to play rugby league it is also vital that we are having conversations around our mental and physical health," Quinn said.
"After having surgery on my left knee last year in July and then re-injuring it eighth weeks later when I played in the NRLW, I've really had to look after my mental health whilst also staying on top of my physical recovery.
"I'm really looking forward to speaking to the young ones about this as my mental and physical health take priority at the moment in getting me back on the field."
Titans winger Anthony Don will accompany Bulldogs returning five-eighth Fa'amanu Brown and Roosters centre Isabelle Kelly when they take the Road to Regions initiative to Grafton and Yamba on Wednesday.
Don, who grew up in Grafton, said he feels a responsibility to get back to his home town and spread to gospel of rugby league as well as some of the game's important messages.
"I was a sports-mad kid growing up and I know most of the kids out at Grafton and Yamba are the same," Don said.
"We are in privileged position playing in the NRL so we need to take advantage of that and make as much of a positive difference as we can.
"As much as we want to encourage participant and grow the game, we also need to be educating kids on the other side of playing which has a lot to do with their mental and physical well-being.
"Hopefully I can have an impact on these kids and inspire them to look after themselves on and off the sporting field."