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This weekend marks the seventh annual Harvey Norman Women in League Round (May 17-20), which recognises and celebrates the important roles women play in Rugby League so we’re urging all our fans to get behind this fantastic initiative by getting along to a game!

The Round demonstrates the diversity of women involved in Rugby League and the significant roles they play across all levels of the game - from players, members, volunteers and administrators, to directors, staff and officials - in addition to highlighting the role that the game plays in engaging communities through sport, social activities and volunteering.

NRL clubs and grassroots clubs are supporting the initiative through various activities, including special edition pink jerseys, pink socks, pink Asics boots and fundraising events for the official charity partner to the Round, McGrath Foundation, and other charities.

The NRL is extremely proud of Harvey Norman Women in League – proud that it has grown to be an integral part of the Telstra Premiership season and is perceived to be one of the most successful, community orientated promotions across the game, proud that it is not a once-a-year marketing exercise but about recognising what women do across our game all year, every year.

Here are some women’s facts and figures you may not be aware of…..

Female participation in Rugby League is at record levels, women’s interest and involvement at a high across Australia, following a 20 per cent increase in female registrations in 2012 (5,801 in 2012; 4,814 in 2011), and a 100 per cent increase in registered female coaches (172 in 2012; 86 in 2011).

2013 registrations are still being calculated, but early indications show female participation is continuing to increase nationally, while coaching numbers have already risen 50 per cent to 263.

The increase in participation comes as the Australian Women’s Rugby League (AWRL) begins its integration into the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) for the first time this year.

The appointment of senior female Directors and Managers within the industry continues to grow annually.

The number of women in senior/executive management/board positions has increased to 19 in 2013 (almost double what it was two years ago with 10 in 2011).

There are six women in NRL club board positions (Broncos, Cowboys, Eels, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs and Warriors).

41% of the game’s NRL club financial members are female, increasing to 88,150 in 2013 (82,250 in 2012).

45% of Rugby League fans are women, with the following NRL Clubs having more female fans than male fans – Panthers, Eels, Knights, Cowboys and Titans.

Female registrations in regular competitions are on the increase. 2013 figures are still being calculated but early indications are that they will be up on 2012 registrations of 5,801 (a 20.5 per cent increase on 2011 – 4,814).

The number of female coaches is set to continue to rise significantly with a 53 per cent increase in numbers already in 2013. 263 have registered so far (172 in 2012).

Already in 2013, 420 women have participated in courses for accreditation in coaching, refereeing and first aid.

Throughout 1,300 grassroots clubs, more than 2,500 women hold volunteer administration positions in 2013.

27,500 girls have participated (ball in hand) in NRL game development programs in schools across Australia so far in 2013, with that number expected to reach 90,000 by the end of the year.

The NRL has two full-time Female Participation National Development Officers to grow female player numbers and provide relevant new pathways, programs and initiatives.

Elite women’s competitions held annually include the All Stars and Interstate Championships, with the Jillaroos playing in the 2013 Festival of World Cups in the UK in July. This will be their fourth World Cup appearance.

There are 19 countries around the world where women play Rugby League regularly including Australia, England, France, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Russia.

Harvey Norman Women in League is a celebration and acknowledgement that women are the heart of our game.

To follow all the Women in League action click here:

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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