Young women in Goulburn will soon have more opportunities to play rugby league than they have ever had before.
Recently, Canberra Region Rugby League announced its plans for several new junior girls' divisions, which will be implemented in the 2022 season.
These include new tackle football Under 11s and Under 13s divisions, to go along with the existing Under 15s and Under 17s competitions.
There will also be new league tag divisions added in the Under 12s, Under 14s, and Under 16s age groups.
Goulburn Junior Stockmen committee member, Danielle Cowling, said she and the club were extremely excited to offer broader opportunities for girls in rugby league.
"When it comes to footy girls has very limited opportunities for a long time," Cowling told the Post in an email.
"Girls have been able to play in a mixed team from the ages of four to 12, however as soon as they hit really the Under 9s, it begins to get a bit rougher against the boys. The girls generally drop off out of the sport without the opportunity to get back into it until an Under 15s girls' competition where they are competing against teams from Cooma, Yass, and Canberra.
"Our girls' comp last year had very strong numbers which makes us so excited to see the inclusion and growth of more all-female competitions."
These new divisions, the Stockmen hope, will keep more girls in the sport with a clearer pathway to the senior divisions.
The club is also working to improve its own facilities in order to promote the growth of the women's game.
"We are currently working hard with Goulburn Mulwaree Council on the redevelopment of our home ground North Park," Cowling said.
"[We have] a master plan already drawn up which would will include a new multi purpose building with female change rooms, canteen, merch shed and new toilet and changeroom facilities."
Thanks to a $30,000 grant recently awarded to the club through the Community Building Partnership Program, which was announced by Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman's office, the first stage of development will soon get underway.
This will feature portable grandstands, dugouts, and mounted scoreboards for the 2022 season.
The Stockmen have confirmed their intent to hold a muster day for any and all girls wanting to play next year. They can register to play at www.playrugbyleague.com from December 1, with the season scheduled to begin on May 1, 2022.
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