The women behind rugby league
RUGBY league wouldn’t be the powerhouse sport it is today without the input and involvement of the many women who work hard behind the scenes.
Just ask last year’s Ipswich Junior Rugby League’s (IJRL) Women in League Volunteer of the Year winner Karen McGarrigal.
Tomorrow, Ipswich’s leading female volunteers will gather at a luncheon at the IJRL’s Briggs Road headquarters to celebrate Women in League week.
Women volunteer their time behind the scenes on committees, play a key role managing their children’s league participation and do other valuable work off the field.
“The guys get out there and do all the training and playing and it is left to the girls to do all the paperwork,” Ms McGarrigal said.
“It is different to what it was years ago.
"Now there are so many women on all the various committees and they put in so much time.
“I used to be on the committee out at Rosewood.
"Then I was asked to take on a role here as the registrar of the Ipswich Junior Rugby League.
"It is busy and I am loving it.
“I am thoroughly involved in it. I have four boys and they all play league.
“Three of my sons play for Rosewood and one plays for Laidley.
"My husband coaches Rosewood.”
It is just as well that Ms McGarrigal loves her footy.
“I haven’t really known anything else. The boys train a few nights a week and they are in rep sides,” she said.
“I bring the registrations home at night to get them done and I work at another job, so I am pretty busy.
“I think they need to celebrate the day and get recognition for what they do because the women at all the clubs put in a lot of work.”
Meg Bowers has been nominated for this year’s title and is the event manager for the IJRL, where she organises lunches like the one tomorrow, co-ordinates carnivals and plays a role on the women’s league committee.
“I am organising the luncheon and there is also a similar event for younger girls in August,” she said.
“I grew up with league and my dad is president of the juniors. I love it.”