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Women in Sport: Meet our 2023 Women in League Round Role Models

Women in League Round is always a special event on the rugby league calendar as the game comes together to celebrate and recognise the significant role women play in our game.

From the Mums driving their kids to training, to the volunteers at junior rugby league, to those working in the game and to the players, the game unites to pay tribute to all the incredible women in rugby league. 

This year, for the first time ever Women in League Round will occur during both the NRL and NRLW seasons.

Ahead of the round, the NRL invited Clubs to provide their Role Models to coincide with the round and to be recognised during the broadcast of their respective games.

The nib Newcastle Knights are proud to introduce our Role Models for 2023 Women in League Round. We are excited to share their career paths and highlight the vital contribution they deliver for our club and the broader community.

NRLW Role Model - Rebecca Swan (NRLW Physiotherapist)

Keen observers, members and supporters of our NRLW side would notice on game day our hard-working orange shirt Trainer, Rebecca Swan.

Within her broader role as physiotherapist, 'Bec' is a crucial member of our team managing all medical requirements and providing key communications to players.

After graduating from the University of Canberra with a Masters in Physiotherapy, Bec has worked in musculoskeletal clinics over the past 12 years and spent some time working overseas in London.

She joined the inaugural NRLW performance staff for the Knights first opportunity in the elite women's competition for the rescheduled 2021 season.

“I’ve played sport all my life and I’ve got a big love for rugby league," Swan said.

“I absolutely love it, the girls and staff are amazing.

“I think women’s sport it’s the best spot to be in at the moment, it’s going to see so much growth and I’m lucky enough to be at the Newcastle Knights.

Including her game day duties, Bec is also there for the girls during the week to help those in their rehabilitation and return to play programs.

She was also a part of the performance staff which helped the players along the way to the 2022 premiership last season.

"One of my career highlights is the 2022 NRLW Grand Final, and to be able to be in that situation with the girls was so good," Swan said.

"I feel very honoured to be nominated as there are many women that could be in my place.

"Women in League Round isn't about one person but acknowledging all the women that play apart and the lists are endless.

"I feel privileged to work with and alongside such strong, positive and inspiring women."

NRL Role Model - Kellie Wagner (Executive Assistant)

Supporters will notice our superstar players on the field including your Ponga's, your Best's and your Saifiti's, but those inside the four walls at the Club recognise one of our superstars off the field in Kellie Wagner.

'Kel's' day-to-day roles include organising the players travel, accommodation, food, community engagements, looking after their families, ticketing and much more.

Having first wanted to be a PE teacher while studying at University, Kel changed approach and jumped into the sporting world with roles at organisations such as Football Australia, Western Sydney Wanderers and Rugby Australia working in the corporate hospitality, events and partnerships space.

“I did a lot of hospitality events and always looked at the football department and thought that would be something I would love to work in.

“With this role, I’ve finally found myself in the space that I’ve always wanted to be in."

Since arriving to the Club in 2022, Kel has dived head first into her role which also included being the Team Manager for the Premiership winning NRLW side in 2022.

“I just love sport, I played everything when I was a kid and love watching sport. I’ve just always been drawn to it.

“For me working in the NRL space, I get to work a lot with the players families, I get emotional when I see the Mums watch their sons, because I’ve got two sons.

“So for me, Women in League Round is about paying tribute to the sacrifice that women make in the game."