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Eels forward Nathan Hindmarsh and Bulldogs winger Hazem El Masri will help celebrate the significant involvement of women in the game at Sydney’s third annual Harvey Norman Women in League lunch at the Novotel Hotel on Tuesday, June 9.

Harvey Norman Women in League lunches will be staged in both Sydney (Tues) and Brisbane (Thurs) in the lead up to the third annual Harvey Norman Women in League Round (June 12-15).

Nathan will be a special guest panellist at the Sydney lunch, along with NRL Board member, Katie Page, NRL Director of Community Relations, Trish Crews, and Executive Officer of Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League, Julie Luke.

Joining the panellists at the lunch will be NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, and 240 women involved in the game from grassroots volunteers and employees through to Telstra Premiership support staff and senior executives.

“Somebody recently quoted Mao Tse-Tung as saying women hold up half the sky and at the grassroots of Rugby League in particular they are doing that and more,” Mr Gallop said.

The Sydney event is the second of four Harvey Norman Women in League functions to be held throughout June to acknowledge and thank the many women involved in the game, as well as to encourage them to develop professional careers in Rugby League.

Hindmarsh said the contribution of women to the game could not be underestimated.

“I doubt my brother and I would be playing Rugby League without the support and encouragement we got from our Mum as kids,” he said.

“Then when I moved to Sydney to play, there was a special lady called Kaye Fitzhenry at the Eels who took me under her wing, so women have played a big part in my career.”

Brisbane’s Harvey Norman Women in League lunch will be held at Customs House on June 11 and will feature Gorden Tallis, the Walters brothers and some of Queensland’s most famous Rugby League mums (more details to follow next week).

The fourth and final Harvey Norman Women in League lunch will feature the NSW Aussie Blues at the Central Coast on June 17.

All NRL clubs will acknowledge and celebrate the role of women in the game during the Harvey Norman Women in League Round with initiatives including:

    • The Panthers wearing pink on-field kit and the Dragons’ traditional red V going pink. The clubs will auction every jersey for the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Joanne MacKay Breast Cancer Foundation respectively;
    • Pink match balls in every match except the Panthers v Sea Eagles (the colour of the jerseys on the day makes their use impractical);
    • The pink footballs will be signed by each team and auctioned off by the NRL, with all funds raised going to the National Breast Cancer Foundation; and
    • The video referee’s board featuring pink LED themed images.

    Click here to find out more about the Women in League Program, and the 2009 Women in League Round

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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