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Women from 12 different sports take up NSWRL leadership program

Women in coaching and administration roles from 12 different sports have come together to take part in the NSW Rugby League’s innovative leadership program aimed at building capacity and opportunities for women in all sports.

Now in its third year, the Women in Sport Leadership professional development program recognises the barriers which women face in achieving leadership roles across elite sports and offers a unique training opportunity to support the career development of the participants. 

Last week, 20 women representing 12 sports including rugby league, athletics, sailing, dragon boats, football, gymnastics, motorcycling, touch football, rowing, surf life saving, tennis and volleyball, gathered at the NSWRL’s Centre of Excellence at Sydney Olympic Park for a two-day workshop to kick off the 20-week course.

Designed and run by NSWRL in conjunction with UNE Partnerships, the registered training organisation of the University of New England, it involves two Diploma and Certificate-level modules which will give participants nationally-recognised credit towards a Diploma or Certificate IV in leaderships and management.

Participants learn skills and techniques to improve communication and leadership in their working environments throughout the program which is a combination of four two-day face-to-face workshops, groups webinars and self-paced online learning ahead of assessments for the two modules.

Among the 30 graduates from previous programs are former Jillaroos and Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues assistant coaches Ruan Sims and Kate Mullaly, alongside NRLW and NSWRL Major Competitions referee, Kara-Lee Nolan as well as a host of participants in wide-ranging roles from sports including hockey, blind sports, wheelchair rugby league, surfing, diving, volleyball, football, snow sports and the What Ability Foundation.

Following a successful pilot program in 2021, the 2022 program received funding from the State Government Her Sport Her way grant program, but this year’s course is fully-funded by NSWRL.

NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said: “The New South Wales Rugby League feels very strongly about supporting programs that help to break down barriers for women to achieve leadership roles in sport.

“The adage you can’t be what you can’t see is very appropriate for this program and is also why we are happy to open the opportunity to all sports in NSW.

“Women achieving leadership success, no matter which sport, will reap long-term benefits in all sports, including Rugby League.”

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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