Former Jillaroo and President of the Australian Women’s Rugby League, Veronica White has been confirmed as the naming recipient of the NRL’s new women’s rugby league community medal, joining the list of NRL Community Awards.
The Veronica White Medal will be reciprocal to the prestigious Ken Stephen Medal, with both Medals awarded during Grand Final week to elite players that have demonstrated elite athleticism on the field a strong commitment in making a difference off the field, supporting their local communities.
Ms White – a rugby league veteran of more than 20 years – has held numerous coaching and administrations roles within rugby league since 1993.
Growing up playing rugby league in her backyard against her four brothers, White quickly gained a love for the game and was the first female player from Ipswich to represent Australia.
“This is an incredible honour and something that I never expected,” Ms White said.
“Rugby League has been part of my life since I was a little girl and to be recognised in this way – with a Medal that encompasses the true essence of what rugby league means to so many communities – is such a thrill.
“There are so many wonderful women that have pioneered the way for women’s rugby league to be where it is today, and I share the meaning behind this Medal with them.”
NRL Head of Government and Community Relations, Jaymes Boland-Rudder and NRL General Manager of the Elite Women’s Program, Tiffany Slater, added their congratulations to Ms White on the honour.
“Veronica is a humble recipient and has been such a wonderful ambassador for women’s rugby league throughout her life,” Mr Boland-Rudder said.
“It’s fantastic that we will now have a men’s and women’s Community Medal honoured in Grand Final week and reminding us all of the power and positivity of rugby league away from the football field.”
“Women’s Rugby League continues to rise in popularity and presence on and off the field and I was so happy to hear of Veronica’s delight in receiving the news,” Ms Slater added.
“We had many worthy finalists out of more than 60 nominations for the naming of the Medal and I have no doubt that as our women’s game continues to grow, so too will the accolades for past and present players across the game.”
A judging panel, consisting of NRL and State representatives, made the final decision to name the medal after Veronica, following more than 60 nominations being whittled down to a short-list of 25 finalists.
Criteria for the Veronica White Medal is in line with the Ken Stephen Medal, with the eventual female recipient having demonstrated their commitment to making a difference in their local community, whilst playing rugby league at an elite level throughout the year.
The NRL Community Awards will now feature eight categories, with all categories now open for State Leagues and NRL clubs to submit nominations.
Award categories for 2019 are:
- Veronica White Medal
- Ken Stephen Medal
- Volunteer of the Year
- Teacher of the Year
- Young Person of the Year
- Women In League Award
- Grassroots Club of the Year
- Community Program of the Year
For more information on the NRL Community Awards, visit www.nrl.com/community/awards