National Rugby League Women in League Round celebrates sons

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A women's rugby team from Australia in the 1930s
Image: Sam Hood.

Australia's National Rugby League (NRL) is to celebrate "Women in League" week, starting yesterday, with themes including sons, raising funds for breast cancer support, and club-related specials to encourage women to attend rugby league games. The week-long celebration of women was started in 2006 to highlight the importance of women to the sport and make the game female-friendlier.

The NRL is planning to celebrate the week in a number of ways, including having teams compete in pink uniforms, and having fans vote for the NRL player fans believe "acts as a role model for mothers and families; someone who continues to impress us on the field, however their off-field characteristics embody what it is we love about rugby league". Additionally, funds are to be raised for the McGrath Foundation, a charity dedicated to breast cancer support and education, and the Women in League Achievement Award will be given out with the winner earning a AU$5,000 gift card to Harvey Norman, an Australian electronics store.

The 2005 Brisbane women's rugby league grand final between Brothers Ipswich vs West Centenary.
Image: Leigh McMahon.

The NRL has been promoting the event on their Women in League Facebook page. In the past month, their Facebook updates have included posts featuring male players discussing support they received from women in their lives, sales of pink coloured NRL merchandise, plugs encouraging people to vote for their favourite son, pictures of men supporting Women in League, NRL club promotions for tickets and other events connected to Women in League, and information on a school visit promoting anti-bullying. The Facebook page has also promoted women's participation and profiles of women's players as recently as a month ago, when on April 9, it promoted the Girls 'Come and Try' Day in Canberra. Prior to that, women were last promoted as players on February 10 when pictures were shared of the Women's All Stars team match with the Indigenous All Stars team.

140,000 women in Australia are involved with rugby league as players, sport administrators, coaches, employees, club members, or volunteers. Karen Hardy of The Canberra Times estimates this number could easily be quadrupled if wives, girlfriends, mothers, and other female family members who support male players were included. Participation is also increasing, with almost a thousand new female players taking up the sport between 2011 and 2012 for 5,801 total registered female players in 2012.


Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Bookmark-new.svg