Nine gutsy girls from Forster-Tuncurry have paved the way for the inclusion of an all girls under-10s competition in Group Three Junior Rugby League next year.
Group Three Junior Rugby League president, Warren Blissett, confirmed at least five clubs were interested in fielding an all girls under-10s team next season, but he was confident they would get a further three.
This follows the trailblazing efforts of Eloise Adams, Ruby Dodds, Rhianna Dutton, Ella Jenkins, Milla Kidd, Luca Manning, Piper Mendham, Gracie-May Pollock-Digges and Alexis Wakefield, who formed the first ever Forster Tuncurry Hawks all girls under-9s team at the start of this season.
The girls played their final game of the 2020 season against the Taree Red Rovers on Saturday, once again proving they were more than able to mix it up with their male opponents.
Hawks' junior coaching coordinator, Rowdy Manning, said the girls had proved competitive all season, despite the fact the under-9s division was not officially scored.
"A lot of their games they were try for try," he said.
"They were more than competitive."
The team was formed after Eloise Adams, who played for the Hawks' under-9s in 2019, decided she wanted to take on the boys with a team of girls beside her.
With the help of her mum Bianca, she recruited a group of like-minded girls from the local community, along with her grandfather and long-time Hawks' coach and trainer, Gary 'Grizzly' Adams.
The rest, as they say, is history - which is exactly what Mr Manning believes the girls have made.
"To be the first to have done it locally, in years to come it'll be something the club will be very proud to look back on," he said.
"To get them through the whole season has been very rewarding, not just for the girls but the whole club."
Mr Blissett said thanks to the efforts of the Forster-Tuncurry team, junior league in the region would continue to attract more young girls to the game.
He also confirmed there were plans to start an all girls under-9s competition in 2022, following the establishment of the all girls under-10s competition next year.
"It's like with anything, you've got to feed the bottom of the tree to flourish at the top," Mr Blissett said.
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