Breaking barriers at Suncorp Stadium
For the first time ever this year, girls clashed on the field as the curtain-raiser to the 2022 State of Origin series.
The inaugural under-18 Queensland Schoolgirls team made history at Suncorp Stadium, taking on the combined NSW and ACT team and winning by 24 points.
Three of the Schoolgirls – Sienna Lofipo, India Seeto and Montaya Hudson – represented the City of Logan with flying colours as Marsden State High School students.
Their manager, Shane Hammond, says he couldn’t have asked for a better group.
‘The girls were incredibly excited to represent their state and incredibly grateful to have the honour of playing as the curtain-raiser for Origin 3,’ he says.
‘From the outset, it was very clear that these girls were determined to secure the win and leave their own mark on in history.’
The game heralds an expansion of female rugby league participation, where an increasing number of game development programs are providing equal opportunity to all.
For younger male rugby league players, several pathways and championships exist.
Meanwhile, the Schoolgirls was previously a merit team that did not participate in actual games.
The curtain-raiser was not only their first victory but also their first game.
‘It was an honour to be involved and I loved the entire build-up to the event,’ Shane says.
‘The girls were provided with plenty of support – the coach Veronica White, and trainer Deanna Turner, both former Queensland and Jillaroos players, made sure they understood the legacy they were leaving for future Schoolgirl teams.
‘They were also encouraged by current and former Queensland players during training – inspirational women who have paved the way for them today.’
Do you know of any elite athletes like Sienna, India or Montoya? Nominations are now open for the City of Logan Sports Award, which pays tribute to our city’s best athletes and inspirational sportspeople.