Hanna Moore

Members of the female NSW Blues team have recently scored stunning victory at the Women’s Interstate Challenge with a 22-6 win against the Queensland team at WIN Stadium last week.

This wasn’t their only win last week however, with the NSW team learning that they will finally be paid to play.

The announcement was warmly received by the 30 women selected for the Interstate Challenge, signing professional playing contracts that provide match payments and compensation for daily costs associated with training.

The news is a huge boost for the ongoing campaign to garner more respect and equality for women on the footy field, as well as providing financial stability for many players who sacrifice valuable time at work to play.

According to the ABC, the men’s NRL state representatives receive $30,000 per match, but women receive a much smaller fraction of that. For many women however, it’s not about the amount, but the recognition of their efforts.

Many women are also forced to pay their own way through national tournaments, taking annual leave and time away from family, whereas many male players are given compensation for their travels.

Given that the Women’s Rugby League is becoming the fastest growing sector of Rugby League with ‘over 180,000 girls and Women playing rugby League across Australia in Schools and Clubs.’, it’s clear that the interest in female-led sports in on the rise.

This interest has led to a memorable year for women in sport, with the introduction of Super League women’s netball and a corresponding rise in minimum wage for its players, to the debut of the women’s AFL selling out Princes Park this past February.

Given the rise in commercial interest and the sheer passion and determination of the players, women in sport are well on the way to receiving much needed compensation and recognition for their efforts.

For now, this news is another stepping stone to a continually evolving industry that will continue to inspire a love of footy and an equal playing ground for all players.