Leeds Rhinos' Emerald Headingley to host 2021 Women's Super League Grand Final
This year's Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final will be staged at Leeds Rhinos’ Emerald Headingley on Sunday, October 10 - the day after the men’s showpiece at Old Trafford - and televised live by Sky Sports.
The competition has been on hold since Leeds’ win over Castleford Tigers in the 2019 title-decider, but is due to resume next month.
Earlier today (Tuesday), the Rugby Football League (RFL) announced a two-year commercial partnership with the National Lottery to support the growth of the female arm of the game.
And it has also published an impact report - These Girls Can - which highlights a massive growth in women’s and girls’ rugby league.
The report, conducted by the RFL with checking from Manchester Metropolitan University, reveals the number of women and girls playing community rugby league has risen by 53 per cent since 2017.
There have been increases of 23 per cent in under-12s playing in mixed gender competitions, 85 per cent in 12 to 16 year-olds playing in girls’ competitions and 36 per cent in over 16s playing in women’s competitions.
There has also been a 359 per cent increase in female coaches, 113 percent in female volunteers and 43 per cent in female match officials.
Ninety per cent of players and 78 per cent of coaches and volunteers claimed rugby league has improved their self-confidence, 90 per cent of players reported a positive impact on mental well being and 97 per cent said it had improved their fitness and physical well being.
More than nine out of 10 felt the profile of the women’s and girls’ rugby league is rising, but only 12 per cent feel the sport gets the recognition it deserves, 74 per cent claim it does does not have the resources it needs and 99 per cent would like to see more effort go into growing and supporting the game for females.
RFL president Clare Balding is a supporter of the women’s and girls’ game.
She said: “If you could bottle increased self-esteem and aspiration, career-goals, body-confidence, fitness and a sense of purpose, you would.
“That’s what developing and supporting girls’ and women’s rugby league does.
“It has positive impacts on the girls and women who play – on and off the pitch – and it is changing the whole sport of rugby league and its communities.”
RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer added: “At the end of 2021 the women’s and girls’ game needs to re-emerge to not only pre-pandemic levels, but to enter into 2022 growing in all areas - players, teams, locations, profile, reach and partners.
“This new report demonstrates exactly why we must do everything we can to maintain the momentum in women’s and girls’ rugby league – and we will.”
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