WOMEN POWER: Kara Moore, Chelsea Baker, Nadine Day and Sarah Stewart are a part of the Gladstone Raidettes team.
WOMEN POWER: Kara Moore, Chelsea Baker, Nadine Day and Sarah Stewart are a part of the Gladstone Raidettes team. Paul Braven GLA080317LEAGUE

WOMEN IN LEAGUE RECEIVES A BOOST

RUGBY LEAGUE: In what is a huge boost for women's sport in the region, Gladstone will field a women's team for the first time in the 47th Battalion on April 29-30 in Yeppoon.

The announcement of the Raidettes team is quite fitting because yesterday was International Women's Day and MP Glenn Butcher, a staunch supporter of league in Gladstone, expressed his delight on Facebook.

"What a great day for Rugby League in Gladstone. Also great to see plenty of original foundation Raidettes still in the Rep team,” Butcher said.

One of the original members is Sarah Stewart and she said it gives females a chance to shine on the big stage.

"A lot of our players were overlooked in the past, but now this gives girls the chance to play at that level,” Stewart said.

The female Capras, which consisted of players mostly from Rockhampton and Gladstone, competed in the 2016 47th Battalion, but now the two towns will have their own teams.

Raidettes and Rockhampton Capras will join Central Highlands, Bundaberg, Toowoomba and Sunshine Coast in the two-day event where the top two placed teams play-off in the decider on the Sunday.

"It's been a hard road and good to see that a nine of the originals are in this representative squad,” Stewart said.

Star Australian Jillaroo Chelsea Baker said the profile of women's sport is on the increase.

"Obviously getting more exposure and women's rugby league is the fastest growing sport,” Baker said.

"Also because of the success in women's sport in general with AFL, cricket and soccer (shown in TV).”

Queensland Rugby League operations manager for the Gladstone region Peter White said the 26-woman squad will be culled back to 19.

There is also a big incentive to preform.

"From the 47th Battalion, they will then pick a Central Crows team which will play in the state championships later this year,” White said.

Meanwhile the Gladstone Rugby League junior competition kicks off tomorrow night and into Saturday with matches from under-18 to U6 level.



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