This weekend’s round of games, which marks the sixth annual Harvey Norman Women in League (WIL) Round, is not only one where we recognise the essential and valued role of women in Rugby League, but also one where we are again asking everyone to dig deep and support a great cause - the funding of McGrath Breast Care Nurses.
The McGrath Foundation has been the charity partner of the Harvey Norman WIL Round for three years and in celebration of this week’s WIL Round (Round 16, June 22-25), almost 10,000 rugby league players, referees and supporters across Australia will wear pink socks over the next month.
The hot pink socks, which are part of the McGrath Foundation’s “Pull On Your Socks” campaign for Round 16, 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 will wear pink Blades boots during celebrations for Harvey Norman WIL Round in Round 16 of the Telstra Premiership.
The pink socks will be worn by grassroots club players from NSW, Queensland, ACT and Western Australia as well as by the Sea Eagles in their clash with the Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.
McGrath Foundation volunteers will also be out in force at the Panthers and Roosters games this weekend selling limited edition pink scarves and wigs.
The Panthers’ pink jerseys will be auctioned with 50 per cent of the proceeds being donated to the McGrath Foundation. The Cowboys will celebrate the round by playing in eye-catching pink jerseys for the first time in their clash with the Raiders at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday night. In a first for the club, the match-worn jerseys will then be auctioned online with all proceeds to be donated to Stillbirth Australia.
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 WIL 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 grassroots clubs hosting their own celebrations.
Remember you can access all the team lists, live scores and stats from the Women in League Round on your mobile. Visit m.nrl.com on your mobile device, or download the free updated 2012 Official NRL iPhone App (where there’s live streaming radio available too).