Nominations have been extended a week for the nib Newcastle Knights Women in League competition, but there was one standout that the Club couldn't ignore.
After a number of nominations, Ladies Who League founder Mary Konstantopoulos is set to become the first outstanding Woman in League to get her name on the back of a Knights jersey for Round 22 when the Knights take on the New Zealand Warriors.
Nominations recognise a Woman in League who is the heartbeat of a league organisation across NSW, whether that be a coach, player, volunteer, media personality, or a jack of all trades.
In Round 22, the Knights will recognise 18 very special Women in League by donning their names on the back of the playing jerseys.
Mary K spoke to Knights centre Nathan Ross about being a Woman in League. Here's how the conversation went:
NR: Obviously you've got a huge involvement in rugby league. What drew you in to the game?
MK: It was definitely my Dad who drew me into the game. I remember being a little eight-year-old girl and wanting to spend more time with my Dad and brothers on the weekend, so if I wanted to do that I had to hang out with them watching footy.
NR: Women are really becoming more and more involved in the up in the game. There was a time women were primarily behind the scenes, but it's good to see women playing the game, female officials, women on boards, in clubs, and supporting their teams too. There seems to be a far greater gender balance. Is that something that intrigues you now that you can have a bit more of an input?
MK: I think the growth of Women in league is awesome and you touched on the mums and the volunteers that play such an important role, and they will always play an important role, but now we've got women sitting on boards, we've got women sitting on the rugby league commission, we've got women in positions of authority in our game, we've got our Jillaroos doing amazing things, we've got our women's competition, we've got women referees, we've got women as fans and members, women are a big part of the game and I think we're getting better at recognising that and it's awesome.
NR: As a father with a daughter I think it's great we can bond over the future of the game and it gives me a lot of faith that women's involvement in the game will continue to grow and I hope to see my daughter pull on the red and blue one day.
MK: We'll put Ziah on the wing and we'll put big Willy in the front row.
To nominate your Woman in League, tell us in 200 words or fewer why your Women in League is deserving of this one-off recognition. We want to know what your Woman in League does for the game we love and why they should be part of the Club's Women in League 2018 jersey.
Nominations have been extended until Monday June 11 and can be submitted here. All entries will be assessed by the Club's judging committee between Rounds 15 to 17, with the winners announced from Round 17.