The South Sydney Juniors have continued to grow Women's Rugby League by establishing their own Girl's Junior Competition in 2019.
Four affiliated South Sydney Clubs - Maroubra Lions, South Eastern Seagulls, La Perouse Panthers and Botany Rams - will be competing this year in under 8s, under 10s and under 12s competitions this year, with registrations still open for the season.
The competitions will be played on Saturdays at Marcellin Fields, Heffron Park starting from May 4th, and will go on for eight weeks. Souths Juniors has also looked at scheduling games that won’t clash with netball games at Heffron Park in a bid to maximise participation.
So thrilled is Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly with the introduction of the competitions, his own daughter will be participating, and credited Souths Juniors for the innovation to bring a competition into the system to help grow the women’s game.
“It’s extremely exciting and it’s a credit to Reuben Wilson (Rabbitohs Game Development Officer) and Souths Juniors to have the innovation to set it up,” Mr Solly explained.
“It’s a great opportunity for those girls to play a game they love as much as anyone else does.
“Francesca is a great example of someone who was introduced to the sport through the Rabbitohs and watching the team play and then started to play oztag. Her enthusiasm for the sport accelerated having watched the women playing Rugby League and for the Rabbitohs last season.
“She’s really excited to see the 2019 season both playing and watching. In an era where people are worried about kids playing fit and healthy and building resilience, there’s no better sport than Rugby League for both of those things.
“It’s a team sport, you have to work with people for a common goal. Physically and mentally it’s so good for you because you need that fitness and get used to being tackled by also facing some of your fears. It’s a wonderful sport and I can’t recommend it more for any child growing up.
“That’s again a credit to Reuben and the Juniors in the way girl's and women’s sport is growing there will be plenty more following, and as the numbers increase more and more women will want to play in the competition."
Peter Kondilios, Secretary of Maroubra RLFC was thrilled for his Club to be a part of such a historic step for the women’s game.
“It’s absolutely fantastic, it’s the first time we’re just doing a girls only competition and it gives them a chance to grow up playing against each other and brings a pathway to the senior competition,” he explained.
“We’re looking to bring new people to Rugby League and people that wouldn’t have wanted to have now given it a go and there could be 20 girls at Maroubra wanting to play now. Anything that grows Rugby League is a bonus."
South Eastern Seagulls Club President, Kyle Howes, also expressed his delight with the initiative and pointed out the importance of bringing in girls to Rugby League at an early age.
“We still encourage the girls to go out and play in the Sunday competition with the boys, but this competition is in place for some of the girls who are more comfortable playing with girls,” he said.
“The women’s game the biggest growth area in Rugby League and for us to have a competition in our teenage years, it makes sense to have a junior competition.
“The more girls we have playing, the healthier the game will be and the more balanced it will be too and we’ll be looking to produce Jillaroos as well as Kangaroos.
“My daughter Ivy is playing in the competition, she’s very excited as she’s always had two older brothers playing for a few years so when the all-girls team came up I wanted her to sign up.
"Mum gave the approval as well,” he laughed.
Players looking to sign up can do so HERE, with registration and uniform free when you sign up to play.