Far greater investment is needed at a grassroots level to feed the huge growth in competitive women’s sport, Australian Jillaroos star Kirra Dibb has said.
In an exclusive interview with Hatch, the rugby league international said encouraging and financing girls’ sport was needed to expand the NRLW and compete against the best nations in the world.
“Having consistent games for girls and getting girls to register and getting them to start is so important,” Dibb said.
“In the future they can expand into the NRLW teams because there’s that talent coming through.”
Since her NRLW debut game for the Sydney Roosters in 2019, there has been no stopping the 22-year-old, who has gone on to represent both New South Wales in the State of Origin and Australia.
Earlier this year she played in the NRLW Nines tournament in Perth, which she said was making the game more progressive for women.
“I know that there were people there that just went to watch the girls, so it’s really cool to be at the forefront of that,” she said.
Whether it be playing at a local oval with friends, through school tournaments or at a higher representative level, Dibb believes a continued focus on the participation of girls in junior rugby league will create clearer pathways for their future in the sport.
As a young girl from the Central Coast, having dreams of representing her country in a male-dominated sport was difficult but Dibb says “you just don’t give up on it cause it can always happen”.
The remainder of the NRLW games for this season have been postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19, however, Dibb is still clearly focused on her own future.
“In terms of my representative goals, there’s a NSW Regional vs NSW Metro game, so make that first because that game is essentially Origin selection and playing Origin again is definitely up there in my goals,” she said.