Monday 24th May, 2021.

Rugby League has seen a decline in participation for the Wellington region, but Game Developer Anya Hape has put plans in place to see a revival in the area.

Hape is a former player in the grassroots space as well as a Wellington Orca’s representative and has a burning desire to grow rugby league in her hometown.

“I am passionate and about rangatahi having the opportunity to play rugby league, as well as developing our men’s and women’s pathways.” Hape commented.

The former Orca attended NZRL’s Aspiring Her conference seeking the skills needed to further push the game and acquire valuable advice from women in rugby league across the nation.

From this conference, she has taken action in regards to reintroducing the women’s competition and rangatahi pathways for the region.

“I have been in the rugby league space for numerous years, as a player, coach and referee.”

Hape continues, “The confidence and resources I received from the conference allowed for us to implement plans for an inaugural youth tournament. This to be played in tandem with the first women’s grade competition in Wellington since 2016. We are also nurturing a team to enter NZRL’s Secondary Schools competition. Another first for the region.”

 “Wellington Rugby League will also be looking to grow the 13-17 year old competitions. The Aspiring Her conference was beneficial for me and is something that needs to continue if we are to grow our rugby league Wāhine.”

The Aspiring Her programme aims to strengthen and widen female development in rugby league, both on and off the field. NZRL and Head of Women’s Rugby League, Luisa Avaiki, held the conference from the 9th to the 11th of April to help women implement a support plan for their respective rugby league regions.

For more on Aspiring Her, visit our Facebook page.