The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has wished the NRL women’s premiership teams well as they prepare for the second NRL Holden Women’s Premiership throughout September and into October.
The Defence Force shares a strong partnership with women’s rugby league, with players including Meg Ward, Talesha Quinn and Shannon Evans all active members.
Coinciding with the NRL’s Harvey Norman Women In League Round, Federal Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel, the Honourable Darren Chester has launched a campaign showcasing the motivation behind NRLW players and ADF members.
The campaign shares the stories of Leading Aircraft Woman (LACW) and Brisbane Broncos player, Meg Ward; Private (PTE) Talesha Quinn, who played for the St George-Illawarra Dragons in their inaugural women’s season last year; Harvey Norman Jillaroos and Sydney Roosters player Simaima Taufa; and up-and-coming Leading Seaman (LS) Shannon Evans, who represented the ADF at the 2019 Harvey Norman Women's National Championships.
“These women are at the top of their game – they’re professional, physically tough team players,” Mr Chester said.
“As the NRL Women’s Premiership enters its second season, it’s great to see ADF women well represented across the growing sport.
‘Women in the ADF and NRLW demonstrate that through hard work, skill and ability, it’s possible to take on new challenges and achieve goals.
“LS Evans, a Navy Physical Training Instructor, spends her days ensuring her team is strong and performing at its best; PTE Quinn is trained to manage supplies, vital to Army capability; and LACW Ward provides aircraft rescue and fire-fighting services at RAAF Base Amberley.”
NRL General Manager of the Women’s Elite Program, Tiffany Slater said the women’s elite game had many high achievers scattered amongst the NRL teams and beyond, including those in the Defence Force.
“We are fortunate to have wonderful semi-professional female athletes across our code, supported by employers that appreciate the movement we are building,” Ms Slater said.
“The ADF in particular has been fantastic in encouraging current elite rugby league players and supporting them in holding down a career whilst playing the game they love.
“I wish all the players well as they prepare for the second season of the NRL Holden Women’s Premiership.”
Females account for just under 20% of the permanent ADF, whilst female rugby league participation grew close to 30% in 2018/19.