“When they announced the award and the prize, I thought in my head ‘oh wow that would be nice, especially watching the NRL grand final’, and then next minute my name was called up!”
Jessica Ashcroft of the Forbes Magpies was named the 2022 Women in League Award winner recently.
She had no idea she was nominated for the NRL award, which is presented to someone who has acted as an exceptional advocate for the advancement and opportunity of women in rugby league.
“I had so many mixed emotions and was shocked and excited, but most of all proud. Everyone knew except me! When I was standing up there, I had to say a speech and to be quite honest I couldn’t say much as I was still speechless.”
Jessica has played rugby league for Forbes Magpies Junior Rugby League Club from a young age and is an exceptional player for the club’s senior competition. She always looks for opportunities to pass on her knowledge and skills to others.
She has been described as a wonderful role model for the youth of the club, girls, and boys. Coaching the under 8s, refereeing for the club and mentoring upcoming referees are just some of the ways Jessica makes a significant impact on youth at her club.
Going forward Jessica said: “My goal within the footy aspect would be to referee at an NRL game. This has been a goal of mine for a while and I’m slowly getting there refereeing different ages and events. I went to Tuggerah, Central Coast to referee the women’s state titles.”
She said the recognition of the award had inspired her to push harder and further as a referee and player.