The NSWRL is closing in on a record 23,000 female participants for the 2022 season as the code prepares to celebrate the tremendous work that all women contribute to Rugby League with the Harvey Norman Women in League Round.
The NSWRL currently has 22,906 female participants registered across the state with more competitions to be played later this year. This follows on from the record success of last year where there were more than 20,000 registered female players for the first time in NSWRL history.
Women In League Round 2022
Some of the highlights include:
- Female participation up 24 per cent in the Northern Rivers Region with new competitions kicking off for Under 14s, Under 17s and Open Age;
- A new North Coast Women’s Premiership saw a participation increase of 11 per cent;
- Northern Region to introduce a women’s Open Age tackle competition in October with plans to implement it for the 2023 season;
- Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League increasing the A and B grade female competitions by a combined total of two teams, with a total of 884 registered players across the region;
- The Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League women's League Tag competitions boasting 21 teams across three grades;
- Plans to introduce a premier women’s tackle competition across the Newcastle, Maitland and Central Coast region for the 2023 season.
The participation figure is not the only highlight this season for the NSWRL for women's Rugby League.
The Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues and Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Under 19s both enjoyed representative success; the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership and Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup both produced successful seasons which culminated with thrilling Grand Finals; and the NSWRL successfully ran a Women in Sport Leadership program.
“It was a great thrill to watch the Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues and the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Under 19s win this season, as the players are all wonderful role models who represent the success you can achieve as a female player,” NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said.
“The growth of the women’s game has been phenomenal, and it is pleasing to see the progress that has been made in establishing pathways from grassroots all the way through to the representative arena. I look forward to watching this space continue to prosper in future years.
“Finally, the game would struggle to survive without the selfless contribution that women make to it every season as coaches, players, officials, volunteers, fans and mums, and it is important that we always acknowledge and give thanks for that, particularly in Women in League Round.”
The Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues reclaimed the Origin Shield in June with a thrilling 20-14 win over Queensland at GIO Stadium in Canberra, while the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Under 19s maintained their unbeaten run with a 22-6 win at Leichhardt Oval.
The Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues also marked the first time in NSWRL history that the team had an all-female coaching staff with Kylie Hilder and her assistants Ruan Sims and Kate Mullaly, while there were a record number of six female coaches across all NSWRL representative teams for 2022.
The NSWRL also ran a successful Women in Sport Leadership program, which aims to assist aspiring female coaches excel as leaders and saw 13 graduates from the pilot program in April, with the NSW Government committing $50,000 in funding for future programs.
The Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership produced a thrilling Grand Final this month with Wests Tigers beating Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 21-20 in golden point, while the Sydney Roosters Indigenous Academy defeated the Newcastle Knights 12-10 in the Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup.
The Country Women’s team also scored a hard-fought 14-6 win over City in their representative match in May to bring Sims her first success as coach.