Women In League Week

This week to coincide with the NRL's "Women in League" round, I decided to take the opportunity to introduce readers to some of the great women within the CDJRL family. CDJRL has a large number of women who donate their time to our great game. Some of the roles that are filled by women include jersey washers, team managers, club and district executives, canteen volunteers, referees, league safe personnel, first aid officers and even coaches. No matter how big or small the job, they are all equally as important in the existence of our game. These women deserve the acknowledgement and thanks for a job well done. 

Michelle Greenwood sees herself as a "woman in league" as she two young sons that play for Southern Suburbs JRC, one in U9's and the other in U11's. She says "both are passionate about the game so most of the weekend is all about football!". Michelle has been involved in the game for 3 years and loves watching her boys play and develop their skills each week. 

Jacqui Osborne, has been involved in Junior League for almost a decade, she has been the team manager for 9 years running, for not just one of her kids teams, but for both of her kids teams. Jacqui's kids play for the Mossman Sharks. Over her 9 years of involvement in the sport she has done everything from "club secretary to registrar" and is currently the "media officer" for the club. However, Jacqui states that "first and foremost she is a Mum, a Mum who loves to watch her kids have fun and play the best game on Earth". Jacqui would love to see "more support for rural clubs in terms of development and training, that can be offered at their home grounds" and states that although "our Development Officers do an outstanding job, they are just too thinly spread".

Frida Moore also has two sons that play Rugby League, making her another great "woman in League". Frida, splits her time between two of the districts clubs with her older son playing for the U15's for Kangaroos JRLC and her younger son playing for Redlynch Razorbacks U13's. 

Rhiannon Dowling is another important member of the CDJRL community that identifies herself as a "woman in league". Rhiannon played rugby league from U10's to U12's, however due to a broken shoulder she was no longer able to play and there for redirected her love of the game by becoming a a referee. Last month, Rhiannon was named referee of the Carnival at the Nate Myles Cup. Rhiannon has also taken on the role of the U6 coach for Central Scorpions JRC. Rhiannon would love to see more female referees in Cairns as their are only a few, she would also like to see women's league on TV and in the papers.

Cyndi Bennett, is involved with the Tully JRLC. Cyndi has been involved in Rugby League for 5 years, her 3 sons and her daughter all play and she enjoys watching her kids grow as individuals throw their involvement in the sport and also seeing them make life long friends. Cyndi would like to see more parents sit back and just watch the game without the politics, she says it is important to remember "that they all can't be NRL players" and that parents should enjoy the "smiles" the sport puts on kids faces.

Barbara Moffatt, is a mum of an U13's player from Redlynch Razorbacks and has been involved in league since she herself was a teenager, as her brother in-law was an A grade player here in Cairns. However, has only identified as a "woman in league" more seriously since her son started playing 6 years ago. Barb enjoys being involved in the sport and enjoys "watching the kids have fun as a team and seeing how they grow from year to year". Barb considers the need for "some parents to chill out, as we all love to win, however when we lose it makes us grounded and in the real world we all win some and we all loose some" and she states that in doing so "this will make our boys real men".

Michelle Dooley, yet another amazing Mum of 4, who donates a huge percentage of what little spare time she has to Junior Rugby League. Michelle has been involved in Junior Rugby League for 8 years and is currently the Junior Vice President of Ivanhoes JRLC. Michelle grew up watching League as her Dad played and now she loves "supporting and watching her boys and their mates play". She also states that she has made many great friends herself through the sport. Michelle would like to see "more parents at trainings and games supporting and encouraging their child/ren in the sport they play" she would also like to see "more parents volunteering their time to the club their child plays for" because "if it wasn't for volunteers a lot of these clubs would not exist".

Jenni Walker is 50, and states that she has probably been involved with Rugby League for a "few" of those years. Jenni grew up surrounded by football and footballers, her godfather played for Penrith in the early years, she went to school in Penrith with the likes of "Greg and Benny Alexander, Johnny Cartwright, Tas Batteri, Joe Vitanza (All Penrith players). Jenni's oldest son  started playing Rugby League in 1997 and her youngest son is currently playing U13's for Mossman JRC. Jenni herself has been extremely active within the Mossman Club (both Juniors and Seniors). She was Media Officer for the juniors for 6 years and fundraising officer for 1 year. Jenni has been club secretary for 4 years and this year has also taken on the role of club registrar and states that she has been the "scorer and the daggy voice on the microphone at home games for a few years now. With a League resume like this, I think she definitely classifies as a "woman in league".

Natalie Stammers, the "spine" some would say of the Redlynch Razorbacks, considers herself a "woman in league" for many reasons, and justifiably so. Nat's childhood involved "being packed up with the footy boots and shoulder pads to watch her Dad, who "played A Grade into his 30's", her brother played Junior league and then went on to play senior League also. Natalie, then as the saying goes, Married a man just like her father - another footy player. Natalie states that her involvement in the game today is "100% due to her two boys", who both play for the Razorbacks. However, Natalie is deeply involved with the everyday running of the club and is currently the clubs Vice President and Registrar. Despite all her league and club responsibilities Natalie says she is as "happy as a PIG IN MUD" as the Razorbacks has a "good volunteer base, great parent support and awesome facilities. 

These are just a few of the amazing "women in league" that deserve our thanks. There are many more that work tirelessly to ensure that our game remains the greatest game of all. So please take the time to acknowledge the efforts of all our districts great "WOMEN IN LEAGUE".