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Marina Go will have been chairwoman of the Wests Tigers for six months when the Tigers begin their 2015 campaign against the Gold Coast Titans.

Wests Tigers Chair Marina Go has done just about all there is in the media world, and now she wants to inspire the next wave of women to do the same. 

Having forged a career as General Manager of Bauer/Hearst, creator of the website Women's Agenda and author of the book Break Through, to name a few, Go added to her incredible CV two years ago, becoming the first female Chair at the Tigers. 

With six years of experience on the Board of Netball Australia, Go was no stranger to sports governance and has embraced the role with open arms, turning what had been a fractured relationship between rival factions into a club with settled backroom dealings. 

With the Women in League Round celebrating its 10th years in the NRL, Go explained the importance of having women in leadership roles, telling that one of the main reasons she accepted the job with the Tigers was "my passion for diversity". 

"I'm very keen on the principle of role modelling and the idea that you can't be what you can't see," she said. 

"The opportunity to be one of very few women as a Director of an NRL club was very attractive to me. 

"When I was originally spoken to about the opportunity of being Chair, I thought 'Oh God, I don't know whether I can do this'. 

"But I thought it was a really important role to take on because it's very important for women in sport who are part of the rugby league community to see that women can achieve at every level of the game. 

"That was the initial reason I came in, and now that I'm here, I just feel so rewarded with all the work the NRL does in the community."

There has been a significant increase in female participation on the field and in positions in governance, but Go wants to see an even greater proportion of women in positions of power. 

"Yes there are women at every level of the game at the moment, but there aren't enough," she said.  

"There are still a number of Boards that don't have any women and there still aren't enough women in leadership roles within the sport. I think there are many talented women who can step up. 

"Interestingly, I think we need to encourage women to put their hand up for that sort of leadership role within the NRL, because there are still women who fear the media attention. 

"I've had an opportunity to speak to women groups, and the first question that a woman will ask me is 'why did you take on the role of Chair at the Wests Tigers?'

"Some of it is out of interest and intrigue, but some of it is out of fear. The negative stuff doesn't bother me, but it does affect other women. I think it does put women off putting their hand up for senior roles in our sport. I think we've got to change that. 

"That's the reason why I speak at so many events. I speak all the time about the role of a Chairwoman in a sport like rugby league, and I do so with the intention of making sure people understand the benefits of it, how rewarding it is and how much I love it. 

"No professional woman with the skills that we want to bring to our game would want to come here if they felt we were scared, and that's the point I want to get across."

When she started with the Tigers, Go described herself as being 'Swiss' – not because of her background, but because she had to be a neutral supporter as her two sons barracked for rival NRL teams. 

Now, as she reflects on her near two years in the role, Go is pleased to see just how far the club has come; not just on the field, but what it has achieved off it. 

"It's been a really interesting journey. It's certainly been very rewarding given that the role of the Board was to reengineer the business and to get it back on track and heading in the direction of success," she said. 

"It's been a fantastic 24 months. I think we've achieved more than I thought was possible when I joined two years ago. 

"Our game day numbers are up, our year on year membership is up and we're one of the community leaders for any NRL club. 

"The NRL now looks at the Wests Tigers as a benchmark club in regards to the role we play within our community. Two years ago we would have been in the bottom four clubs in that area. 

"One of the reasons I'm so proud to work in this sport is the work the NRL does in the community. I think it's a really huge win for us and for our community. There's still a long way to go, but we're proud of the work we're doing." 

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