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United approach to deliver benefits

Elite and aspiring coaches, trainers and researchers contributing to the growth of women's rugby league gathered on the Gold Coast last weekend for the first National Coaching and Performance Conference.

More than 100 people from across Australia attended the inaugural event to soak in research and be educated on topics that regularly arise across women's sport. 

Hosted by the NRL and Australia Jillaroos coaching staff, leaders in the field of high-performance, coaching, medicine, data-analytics and research presented to the group across three days. 

Australian Rugby League Commissioner Megan Davis launched the event with NSW Origin coach Andrew Patmore, Sydney Roosters Nines coach Kylie Hilder and former Jillaroo Tahnee Norris among the attendees.

An indoor training session at the Coaching and Performance Conference.
An indoor training session at the Coaching and Performance Conference. ©NRL Photos

"The spirit of co-operation across the weekend was remarkable, with NSWRL, QRL and rival NRLW staff openly sharing information for the overall good of the game," Jillaroos coach Brad Donald told NRL.com.

"It was pointed out that it doesn't happen a lot, or at all, in any other environment. This shows the great spirit and commitment amongst all stakeholders to grow the female element of our sport.

"Having the opportunity to share learnings, education and research with coaches, performance and medical staff was not only a rare opportunity to see some of this content for the first time but a great chance for all participants to network with each other.

Jillaroos coach Brad Donald.
Jillaroos coach Brad Donald. ©NRL Photos

"The conference was extremely well attended by team staff of regional, state and national representative teams across Australia."

The NRL has increased its focus in 2020 on ensuring the pathway for female players remains supported by industry-leading professionals.

NRL Head of Football Graham Annesley concluded the event by reiterating that women's rugby league was the fastest growing area in the game.

The women's calendar for the 2020 season is yet to be confirmed by the NRL with expansion of the NRLW competition high on the agenda, along with the international scheduling involving the Jillaroos. 

Changes to the Harvey Norman National Championships are also expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks. 

It was announced last October that Queensland will host the 2020 Holden Women's State of Origin clash at Sunshine Coast Stadium.