Recognising the Past to Inspire the Next Generation
“The game wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for the commitment of the players or the administrators past……….. I’m forever grateful for that. It might have been minimal resources but without the people pioneering and driving it, it wouldn’t be here today.” - Becky Jones
Like a lot of team sports which have heralded from male participation, the role of women and the history of the growth and development of the women and girls’ game has often been hidden and undervalued.
This Women in Rugby League website, funded by the National Heritage Lottery aims to uncover, document, and celebrate the history of the pioneering sportswomen who challenged rugby’s traditional male supremacy and paved the way for thousands of girls and young women to play the game today.
It is a community hub to tell the stories and record the accurate history and heritage of women in rugby league.
This is the place for those of you who want to be inspired and have an interest to hear, see and feel the role women have played in rugby league and the history of women who have participated in the sports as coaches, match officials and leading administrators.
It identifies the pioneering women and men who, despite opposition, succeeded in leading the game to where it is now.
The journey of collecting and documenting memories and memorabilia for women in rugby league began in 2018 with a collaboratively delivered Heritage Lottery Fund and Foundation for the Arts funded project called Ref! Crossing the Line which told stories of women in rugby league in Hull, Batley, Castleford and Featherstone.
Ref! Crossing the Line was pivotal in helping secure Heritage Lottery funding in 2021 to deliver the ‘Life with the Lioness’s’ project which shines a light on untold stories and experiences of those women who represented Great Britain between 1996 and 2003 while developing the rugby league archives at Heritage Quay to include the history of women in the sport.
Join us on the journey of discovery celebrate and be inspired by the amazing history and heritage of women in rugby league.