An Exploration of the Role of Women in Rugby League in Great Britain in the 21st Century
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This study explores the role that women play in the sport of rugby league in Great Britain in the 21st Century, paying particular attention to the playing aspect. Employing an ethnographical approach to the research the researcher combines a mixture of experiences, observations and interviews with participants involved in the research area. The data gathered was then analysed using open coding to identify emerging key themes. Three key themes were identified; development (both at grassroots and elite level), expansion of the game, and funding (predominantly a lack of funding which was seen to be holding the women’s game back). Two underlying themes also emerged. Participants identified the supportive environment which women experienced in the game and encouraged them to become involved at all levels including playing and spectating. Sexism was also noted as an underlying theme with was identified predominantly in the refereeing aspect of the game, and when dealing with older generations.