This week, our Ladies Who League blogger Mary Kaye celebrates one of her favourite weeks of the footy season, Women in League round. Remember you can find more of her work on ladieswholeague.com.
It was sensational to see Tim Mannah lift the Johnny Mannah Cup on Monday night, but this week we move onto our next big test, the St George Illawarra Dragons.
I have been waiting for this round all year. It is my favourite round of the regular NRL season calendar - Women in League Round.
Women in League Round is a round which celebrates the contribution that women make to rugby league. In a sport which is still very male-dominated, I wanted to take some time to focus on some tremendous women involved in our game.
There has been much to celebrate in the last 12 months. Significant achievements for women in our game include the appointment of Raelene Castle as CEO of the Bulldogs, the appointment of Corene Strauss as Men of League CEO, the appointment of Rebecca Frizelle as the Gold Coast Titans Board Chair and Linda Burney as the ARL Indigenous Council Chair.
The Jillaroos won the Women’s Rugby League World Cup for the first time, Australia won the Trans-Tasman series in all three divisions last month and Kasey Badger and Belinda Sleeman have become the first female referees to be included in the full-time elite match officials squad.
These achievements are much cause for celebration.
Closer to home, there are also some tremendous women involved at the Parramatta Eels, including Celeste Bluck, who is the Aboriginal Project Officer for the NRL School to Work Program based at the Parramatta Eels.
The NRL School to Work Program helps create pathways to successful careers for Aboriginal students in years 11 and 12 and continues post –secondary for 6 months. The aim is to support students in the program complete their senior schooling and move into further study, training, or meaningful employment.
Bonnie Scott is our Event Operations Manager and of course, wife of one of the greatest players to ever don the blue and gold jersey - Nathan Hindmarsh. For Bonnie, her life is 'entrenched in the sport' and Rugby League has given her 'a wonderful husband, three beautiful children and a fantastic job.
These women also make up part of our fan base - another group which features tremendous women who love our Club. Together with the women who are involved with the Club at a grass roots level, the future of rugby league and continuing women's involvement in the game looks bright.
So come down to Pirtek Stadium at Parramatta this weekend - bring your wife, your mum, your sister, your daughter or your girlfriend and celebrate the contribution they make to Rugby League. It is going to be a wonderful afternoon as we are treated to all three grades, with the main game beginning at 3pm.
Hopefully, our Eels pick up where they left off last weekend and we go into our bye round off the back of two straight wins.
Don't forget your pink and purple!