Ladies and gentlemen,
Here we are! We are finally at Grand Final week. Can you believe it? Where has this season gone? It seems like only a couple of weeks ago that I was writing about how I thought the Parramatta Eels were going to make mistakes (don’t hold it against me… even the best of us make mistakes).
It’s going to be a pretty exciting week with a lot going on and it all begins tomorrow as I head to the Dally M Awards. While I am excited about the dress, the photos, the red carpet, the glitz, the glamour and the possibility of having a photo with Aaron Woods, there is one other thing which is going to make my very first Dally M, super special.
Tomorrow night, history will be made as a Female Player of the Year will be announced for the very first time.
It’s fitting that this has happened in a year where the wider NRL community has finally been given the opportunity to see how talented the Jillaroos really are. They starred at the Auckland 9’s and at the State of Origin with many people been given the opportunity to cheer for these talented women for the very first time.
The nominees for the Award are Jillaroos captain Steph Hancock, five-eighth Jenni-Sue Hoepper, winger Karina Brown and lock Simaima Taufa.
Women are the fastest growing influence group in the game at the moment. The stats support this with participation in women’s rugby league increasing 26 per cent, this year alone. There are now over 11,600 women and girls playing rugby league. This is something that we as a sport need to continue to celebrate – it’s a remarkable achievement and shows the general appeal and reach of our game.
Our Jillaroos are outstanding role models and extremely talented athletes. They show the little girls of Australia that if they want to play rugby league professionally that there is a place for them in our family and in the NRL community.
So when I get asked ‘who is going to win the Dally M Award?’, I’ll be sure to ask whether they mean in the men or women’s category.
I’m so honoured that I’ll be in attendance on this historical night and part of a tradition which will be part of the game of rugby league for decades to come.
Ladies who League