Girls keen to tackle an IJRL comp

GIRLS could be in a league of their own with an Ipswich Junior Rugby League (IJRL) plan to introduce a 2011 female-only competition as part of Queenslanders Credit Union’s major three-year sponsorship agreement.

The concept would include an under-14 and under-17 division and provide girls with an opportunity to compete beyond the last mixed grade at under-12.

The competition already has strong interest from several local clubs, including Northern Suburbs, Springfield and West End. Other clubs could follow as momentum builds.

Queensland Women in Rugby League board member Madonna Bowers urged players of all skill levels and experience to get on board and experience the state’s popular sport.

“It will be a very inclusive competition and all that is needed is an interest in playing a team sport and making some friends,” she said.

“There are already numerous women and girls involved in the IJRL and this is a great opportunity to build on that and create a league of our own.

“We’ll have excellent coaches and refs on hand to familiarise new players with the rules and tactics of the game – so no previous playing experience is necessary.”

Queenslanders CEO John Weier said the credit union was proud to support the growth of the game for girls in Ipswich as part of its three-year sponsorship program with the IJRL.

“Queenslanders have a proud history of supporting the IJRL and we are delighted to be on board with this exciting female-only competition,” he said.

“We share the league’s philosophy that both males and females should have the chance to enjoy this great game of ours.

“There are a lot of girls out there itching to play beyond under-12s and this will be a great opportunity for them to show the boys a thing or two.”

Bowers said there were numerous benefits for young girls in playing rugby league.

“Apart from the obvious health benefits, league is great for building self-confidence, making friends and developing teamwork skills,” she said.

“We’ll also fund referee, coaching and first-aid courses for girls who want to help the league or even forge a career.

“And let’s not forget the chance to play in national and state women’s representative sides, which already have a great history of players from the Ipswich region.”

Bowers cited the success of Northern Suburbs’ under-16 girls team, which took out last year’s Brisbane competition grand final, as evidence of the strength of the game among females in Ipswich.

The games will be full tackle, with the same rules as the male competition.

Teams would likely compete on a nominated ground each week in a super Friday night spectacular.

Anyone interested in joining the new competition can contact their local junior league club or the Ipswich Junior Rugby League office on 07 3288 0107.

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