From the Sea Eagles NRL Club to the Gundagai Tigers Under 16s and the Freemantle Roosters Under 6s in WA, almost 10,000 Rugby League players, referees and supporters across Australia will wear pink socks this month to celebrate this week’s 2012 Harvey Norman Women in League Round.
The hot pink socks, which are part of the McGrath Foundation’s “Pull On Your Socks” campaign for the 2012 Harvey Norman WIL Round (June 22-25), have been so popular they sold out in four weeks (with an additional waiting list of 3000), contributing over $100,000 in funds for breast care nurses.
Along with pink socks and pink Steeden match balls, seven NRL Clubs will wear pink versions of their playing jerseys, while 18 players from 11 clubs including Sharks and NSW VB Blues captain Paul Gallen, will wear pink Blades boots during celebrations for Harvey Norman WIL Round in Round 16 of the Telstra Premiership.
The WIL Round officially kicks off on Tuesday (June 19) with a lunch in Sydney to name the Harvey Norman “Favourite Son”, an award voted on by women within the game for an NRL player they would be proud to call their son. Among the 10 finalists are Luke Burt (Eels), Luke Lewis (Panthers), Kurt Gidley (Knights), Braith Anasta (Roosters) and Terry Campese (Raiders).
“Selling out of the socks in four weeks is a remarkable feat and credit must go to the grass-roots clubs who continue to embrace the Women in League spirit and support such a worthwhile cause at the same time,” said ARL Commission General Manager of Community, Culture and Diversity, Ms Trish Crews.
“The McGrath Foundation has been the charity partner of the Harvey Norman Women in League Round for three years now, with thousands of fans supporting not only the funding of McGrath Breast Care Nurses but also the essential and valued role of women in Rugby League in Australia and New Zealand.
“Now in its sixth year, Harvey Norman Women in League gives a platform to recognise and thank close to 60,000 women involved in the game – from mothers and fans, to coaches, players, referees, first aid officers and board directors.”
The pink socks will be worn by grass roots-club players from NSW, Queensland, ACT and Western Australia as well as the Sea Eagles in their clash with the Roosters at Allianz Stadium next Sunday during the official Harvey Norman WIL Round.
McGrath Foundation Director and Ambassador, Tracy Bevan, is thrilled by the support for the McGrath Foundation from NRL teams, players and fans right across Australia.
“It’s amazing the support we’ve received already this year, with a sell-out of socks for our Pull On Your Socks campaign, and junior rugby league players keen to ‘pink up’ and show their support for the McGrath Foundation.
“With $200,000 raised last year and $100,000 raised already this year, we’re hoping NRL fans will be even more generous at this weekend’s games, helping us expand our network of 74 McGrath Breast Care Nurses.”
McGrath Foundation volunteers will also be out in force at the Panthers (Saturday, June 23) and Roosters (Sunday, June 24) games selling limited edition pink scarves and wigs for $10 each.
The Panthers’ pink jerseys will be auctioned with 50 per cent of the proceeds being donated to the McGrath Foundation. Pink Blades footy boots and Steeden match balls will also be auctioned to raise funds for the McGrath Foundation and other club charities, including the Joanne Mackay Foundation.
In June and July football fields will turn pink right across New South Wales with over 3500 pairs of socks purchased collectively among junior clubs including:
| Quakers Hill Destroyers||Liverpool Catholic Junior RLC|
|Gundagai District RLFC ||Morpeth Schools RLC|
|The Rouse Hill Rhinos ||Hills Bulls JRLFLC|
|South Lakes Roosters JRLCFC||Holy Cross Rhinos JRLFC|
|Campbelltown Warriors||Moree Junior Rugby League Club|
|The Entrance Junior RLC||Penrith Waratahs|
|Terrigal Wamberal RLC||Cessnock Minor Rugby League Club|
|Campbelltown Warriors||Maroubra Lions RLFC|
In Queensland, the Bundaberg Rugby League Referee Association will don pink socks to referee every game across the first weekend in July, while juniors at Southern Suburbs in Cairns and Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast will also show their support.
In Canberra the Gungahlin Bulls MRLFC and the Valley Dragons JRLFC will wear pink socks, while in WA, the South Perth RLC Seniors and the Fremantle Junior Roosters are leading the charge in the campaign.
While the pink socks have sold out, clubs are still able to register to fundraise via www.mcgrathfoundation.com.au, with the opportunity to win prizes for their club including a visit from a One Community Ambassador, Steeden footballs, pink NRL Women in League jerseys and signed NSW State of Origin, Kangaroos and All Stars jerseys.
Across the country and in New Zealand Clubs will be getting in the spirit of the Harvey Norman WIL Round, with NRL and grass-roots clubs hosting their own celebrations.
Club Functions and Activities
Harvey Norman Women in League Official NRL Events
| 18 June |
Rugby League’s Executive Cocktail Function, State Library of NSW
Albion Park, Illawarra NSW
Illawarra Girls Tackle and Gala Day
Harvey Norman Women in League Sydney Lunch, The Deckhouse Restaurant, Woolwich
Hickeys Lane, Penrith NSW
The All Girls Gala Day in Western Sydney - 150 primary school and 150 senior students
Harvey Norman Women in League Dinner Ipswich, Woodlands of Marburg, Marburg
WIN Stadium, Wollongong NSW
Illawarra High School Girls Gala Day grand finalists will play a 15min game between the Dragons NYC and NRL matches
Centrebet Stadium, Penrith NSW
NSW v QLD women’s Interstate Challenge prior to the NYC match at Penrith. Half-time and full-time - two U8 all girls teams from the Parramatta District.�
Allianz Stadium, Moore Park NSW
A junior girls team from the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney will play a team from Mascot Public School representing the South Sydney region
Harvey Norman Women in League Dinner Bathurst, at the Carrington Function Centre and Theatre
Harvey Norman Women in League Dinner Bundaberg, at the Across the Waves Sports Club
Harvey Norman Women in League Official NRL Club Events
Harvey Norman Women in League Afternoon Tea with local teachers from the Sutherland Shire
Annual Women in League Luncheon at the Chairman’s Lounge
Women in League Cocktail Function with onsite training session at Dairy Farmers Stadium
Ladies “Knight” at the Movies
Women in League Cruise and Luncheon
Launch of Broncos’ Fillies, invite only, Suncorp Stadium
Under 12s All Girls Rugby League demonstration at half-time. 30 Female volunteers to also form the guard of honour for the Broncos to start the game at Suncorp Stadium.
Women's Rugby League Exhibition match featuring two teams from the Illawarra Women's League
Lavazza's Eagles Angels Ladies Lunch hosted by Erin Molan and Melinda Gainsford-Taylor
Pink Golf Day at Panthers Wallacia
70 female Junior League volunteers from Central and North Queensland to host guard of honour at the Cowboys v Raiders game
Women in League Breakfast, Souths on Chalmers, Redfern
Women in League Luncheon
High Tea Fundraiser for "Look good, feel better"