Six teams from the Far South Coast are on a mission to develop a Group 16 women's 9s tackle competition, which started on Saturday, October 28 at Bega Recreation Ground.
Junior and senior players from Merimbula-Pambula Bulldogs, Snowy River Bears, Bega Roosters, Narooma Devils, Tathra Sea Eagles, and Eden Tigers will be playing in the nine-a-side tackle competition which runs until the last weekend in November.
Some of the players had played at state and representative levels, others had never played rugby league previously, while some had decided to switch sporting codes, but the respect among team mates was revealed in the camaraderie they showed each other while representing in their club colours.
Caitlin Johnson, a player for the Eden Tigers and a member of the Group 16 tackle sub-committee said she hoped spreading the word would inspire other ladies to sign up and try out the sport, regardless of their experience in the game.
"The whole point of this year is to develop league, so eventually we can run a normal comp through the normal season. We're just trying to develop the sport down here," Johnson said.
"Hopefully a few people who might have been sitting on the fence about playing might come and watch and maybe put their name down for next year.
"It's just one of those sort of things you've got to get in there with two feet."
Prior to the Group 16 Women's 9's open tackle competition, players had to travel to Canberra to participate, but having a Far South Coast competition will allow local clubs to create new pathways as the women's tackle game evolves and grows.
"I spoke to as many people as I could after the game, and there were heaps of smiles," she said.
"A lot of people who haven't played before or switched codes from AFL girls, soccer girls, girls who have just been sitting on the sidelines and watching their partners play for years, they just all came and had fun.
"A lot of girls stand off, they think they're going to get hurt, that's not the purpose of it. It's learning new skills, techniques, and just trying to develop it down here to follow in the footsteps of Kezie, Millie, and Alanna."
Those interested should approach one of the six clubs to register for next year.
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