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Raecene McGregor pictured with the Bomaderry Swamprats under-10s league tag team.

The Dragons NRLW squad welcomed some special visitors to a recent midweek training session with the Bomaderry Swamprats under-10s league tag girls on hand as preparations continue to ramp up for the 2023 NRLW season.

The likes of Raecene McGregor, Teagan Berry, and Kaarla Cowan helped show the youngsters around WIN Stadium and put them through their paces with a selection of kicking, passing, and running activities.

The side’s coach Talia Atfield, who was a member of the Dragons inaugural NRLW squad back in 2018, was able to put the session together with the help of head coach Jamie Soward who “was more than happy” for the team to be involved.

“He responded and there was no thinking about it, he was like, ‘yep, no worries’, and we jumped at it,” Atfield said.

“I think it’s good for these girls with the Dragons to know that these girls do look up to them. It keeps everyone very humble and it’s great that they’re interacting. Some of the girls out here have been great with the younger ones.”

Atfield says that the opportunity for the next generation to interact with their idols is key for the growth of the sport.

“I thought it was good because we’re local here from down the coast, so it’s great for them to be able to meet and greet some of their favourite players and see that there is a future in rugby league for the younger generation,” she said.

Teagan Berry takes pictures with the Bomaderry Swamprats under-10s league tag girls.
Teagan Berry takes pictures with the Bomaderry Swamprats under-10s league tag girls.

“I think it’s massive. When we were younger, we never had that opportunity and now there’s so many pathways through and I think the biggest thing for our girls is to know that there is a pathway and to be able to see it with their own eyes and be out here with them today is great.”

She was also pleased with the club’s willingness to prioritise its pathways and grassroots system and give her players the opportunity to mix with their NRLW idols.

“I think what the Dragons are doing for the juniors is great and keeping those pathways strong and keeping them connected as well,” she said.

“With them being connected, they know that when they come here they can be a St George Illawarra Dragon. I think it’s really good from the club just to be so welcoming and opening.”

The Bomaderry Swamprats under-10s league tag girls pose in the gym at WIN Stadium.
The Bomaderry Swamprats under-10s league tag girls pose in the gym at WIN Stadium.

Savannah – who plays fullback – and Ahliya – who plays first receiver – were among the Bomaderry Swamprats who got the opportunity to mix with the players and test out their skills.

“It was really good and we enjoyed it,” they said.

“We played kick tennis and we passed the ball and some of the girls taught us how to kick.”

The Dragons NRLW season kicks off on Saturday 22 July against defending premiers Newcastle at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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