12 Nov 2021
RLWC2021 Women's Ambassador, Jodie Cunningham appointed National Womenâ€™s and Girlsâ€™ Development Manager
Cunningham has become a regular in the England team and in 2021 named the Woman of Steel after leading St Helens to a Challenge Cup and Super League double â€“ as well as working for #RLWC2021 as their Community Engagement Lead.
Rugby League World Cup 2021 Women's Ambassador, Jodie Cunningham has been appointed National Womenâ€™s and Girlsâ€™ Development Manager for the Rugby Football League, a new role which is as significant as it is exciting.
Cunningham has become an iconic figure in the development of the womenâ€™s and girlsâ€™ game in recent years, as a regular in the England team and in 2021 named the Woman of Steel after leading St Helens to a Challenge Cup and Super League double â€“ as well as working for #RLWC2021 as their Community Engagement Lead.
Now she will play a leading role in the delivery of the RFLâ€™s Womenâ€™s and Girlsâ€™ Framework for 2022-30, and strengthening all parts of the pathway.
About taking on her new role, Jodie said:
â€œThis is an amazing opportunity to do what Iâ€™m most passionate about â€“ encouraging more women and especially girls to play Rugby League.
â€œThere has been fantastic progress over the last few years, but Iâ€™m convinced this is the only the start.
â€œRugby League is a brilliant game for women and girls to enjoy, and we have seen more and more people get behind the womenâ€™s game with growing fan bases and record crowds this year.
â€œWith the platform of a home World Cup now in 2022, and the Womenâ€™s Super League and other competitions continuing to develop on and off the field, the challenge is to make the most of this opportunity.
â€œIâ€™ve loved my role with the World Cup working on the Social Impact Programme for the last three years, which has done so much for all areas of Rugby League and its communities including Womenâ€™s and Girls.
â€œIâ€™m excited about continuing to work closely with RLWC2021 and everyone else involved in Womenâ€™s and Girlsâ€™ Rugby League with that focus on maintaining momentum and taking the sport to new heights.â€
Marc Lovering, the RFLâ€™s Director of Participation and Development, said:
â€œThe growth we have seen in the Women and Girls game is such that it requires dedicated resource. Thanks to continued support from Sport England we are now able to facilitate that.
â€œJodie is the perfect person to inspire future generations of girls to get involved with Rugby League, as she has done herself.
â€œHer passion for the game is energising, and itâ€™s great that she will be working for the RFL in such an important position â€“ and at such an exciting time.â€