The NSW Rugby League’s innovative women’s sport leadership program, run in partnership with the University of New England (UNE) and backed by the NSW Government’s Her Sport Her Way Grants Program, is proving to be a huge success with additional spots being offered to cater for participants from 12 different sports for the 2022 course starting on Monday 12 September.
The NSWRL used the government funding to offer 20 scholarships to all state sporting bodies and affiliated organisations to participate in the Women in Sport Leadership Program, which aims to provide aspiring elite female coaches and women in a variety of roles in sporting organisations with further skills and knowledge to excel as leaders.
The strong response led to 23 scholarships being awarded to women in diverse roles from coaching to refereeing, as well as events, sponsorship, participation, development, and competition, across a range of sports including Rugby League, volleyball, basketball, surfing, football, gymnastics, diving, snow sports, hockey, blind sports, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair Rugby League, as well as the What Ability Foundation.
The Her Sport Her Way Grants Program is part of the NSW Government’s Women in Sport strategy designed to assist sporting organisations to continue to increase participation, and promote and encourage women to be leaders in sport.
NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said: “The New South Wales Rugby League feels strongly about the potential of the Australian sporting sector to become a leader in gender equity and the role it can play.
“To achieve this potential we need to enhance the recruitment and retention of women leaders, coaches and match officials in a variety of roles across the entire sporting sector.
“The phrase ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ is often used in relation to advancing opportunities for women in sport and it is exactly why NSWRL was adamant about opening up the opportunity to participate in our Women in Sport Leadership Program to all sports.
“We are thrilled that so many sports wanted to be involved and hope this program will provide women with the skills and confidence to explore greater career opportunities. It not only supports the development of the women’s Rugby League competition; it promotes the advancement of women into senior coaching and leadership roles in other sports and workplaces too.”
The 2022 program follows on from the success of the 2021-22 joint NSWRL-UNE pilot program, with graduates including successful Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues women’s Origin coach Kylie Hilder and her assistant Ruan Sims.
The new 20-week program, running from September 2022 to January 2023, involves online learning and four face-to-face workshops held over two days.
Participants will graduate with nationally recognised credit towards a Certificate IV or Diploma level qualification in leadership and management.