Girls Rugby League Program of Excellence


Program Overview


The Girls Rugby League Program of Excellence has been developed with the intention of developing capable, resilient, determined, and successful young female athletes. The program provides a pathway for our female students to expand their skillsets, game knowledge, and pursue opportunities to play representative and elite level rugby league. With a focus on developing positive personal attributes such as determination, resilience, accountability, and commitment, the Girls Rugby League Program is designed to produce well rounded athletes who are able to achieve success both on and off the field.


The program is structured around the understanding that our students are in different stages of their development as players. By meeting the specific developmental needs of our students, our scaffolded program is structured around the knowledge and skills of students from Year 7 to Year 11.


The Girls Rugby League program is centred around the following principles:


Respect means having a high regard for the feelings, wishes, and rights of others, and a deep admiration abilities, qualities, and achievements. As we build the program it is important to build a strong and sustainable culture that will provide guidance for the girls. It is our job as coaches to foster respect and motivate the girls to take responsibility for both themselves and the success of those around them. Respect of self is key for long term heath and positive outcomes.
It is our responsibility as coaches to shoulder the responsibility of improving our charges as both footballers and individuals. We are in a fortunate position that allows us to shape the long term outcomes of the students within the program. As the players progress through their journey responsibility needs to be released, allowing them to control their success and outcomes. We need to ensure that our players are able to honestly take responsibility for their actions.
Work ethic is not only important in sport but in life, and as coaches we are in a position where we can encourage a strong ethic from our athletes. We need to make sure that our training processes are thorough, engaging and targeted. The importance of effective training needs to be communicated and the goal of sessions needs to be explained to students. Allowing training and effort shortcuts will lead to a drop in standards and poor performance at a later stage.    
You are not the only person with good ideas. If you wish to be heard, listen. Always seek to find the best way rather than insisting on your own way. All of this requires cooperation. It allows individuals to move forward together, to move in the same direction instead of going off in different directions. In basketball, one of the undervalued acts that Wooden most values is the assist – helping a teammate score. The assist in basketball epitomizes cooperation. The assist is valuable in all organisations – helping someone do their job better.
Work without joy is a chore. Chores do not produce champions, nor do they produce great organisations. You will not reach the top – success – if you and those you lead are wearily trudging along, waiting for the workday to end. Your heart must be in what you do.  Without enthusiasm you can't work up to your fullest ability. Enthusiasm infuses and stimulates those you lead. The energy and enjoyment, drive, and dedication you exude is emulated by those in your organisation. Work without enthusiasm is just work. “Just work" is not enough.
Control of self is essential for consistency in leadership and team performance. Self-control is necessary in all areas. It starts with control of your emotions, but it extends to having the resolve to resist the easy choice, the expedient solution, and, at time, temptation in all its alluring forms. Keep your emotions under complete control and think clearly at all times. When Wooden watched a game unfold there would occasionally be an almost guilty pleasure in seeing UCLA exert enough pressure to cause the opponent to lose control. A team with good discipline is simply a reflection of a self-disciplined leader.
The ability to reflect on our performance allows us to improve our practice. This booklet is designed to assist in the improvement of our plans and processes as coaches. We need to model reflective practices to our learners, promoting a culture where mistakes are welcomed and used to design more effective sessions and outcomes in the future. The key to effective self-reflection is honesty and looking to improve and expand on our skillset as coaches, targeting our weaknesses directly.
A team that won't risk mistakes will not outscore opponents. The same is true for any organisation. Fouls, errors, and mistakes are part of the competitive process in sports, business, and elsewhere. Don't live in fear of making a mistake. The team that makes the most mistakes usually wins. Use good judgment based on all available information and then use initiative. Wooden always cautioned his teams, “Assume failure. Don't just stand around waiting to see if the ball goes in. Assume it won't. Get ready to respond quickly and correctly."
Wooden chose the word intentness to convey diligence and determination, fortitude and resolve-persistence. All these traits are present in great leaders. Intentness also implies a firm resolve to stay the course over the long term rather than meandering all over the place in bursts of short lived activity. Good things take time, usually lots of time. Achieving worthwhile goals requires intentness. There are setbacks, losses, unexpected reversals, hardships, and bad luck. Does the fight continue? The team looks to you for their answer. Your answer is intentness.



Each year level within the program benefits from scheduled classes that are delivered by qualified Rugby League coaching staff members. Steve Brown is a level 3 High Performance Coach who won 3 state titles with the South East Queensland Women's team and was previously employed as an NRL development officer. The coaching team also consists of Australian representatives in both Women's Rugby League and Touch Rugby league, as well as Regional rep coaches from both Metropolitan West and Darling Downs regions.



Veronica White (Girls Rugby League Co-ordinator) holds a level 2 Senior Club coaching certificate and has been recognised for her incredible contributions to the sport over the years by becoming the naming recipient of the 'Veronica White Medal'. Following her 20 plus year dedication to supporting women in rugby league, Veronica has also become the first female to become a life member of the Australian Women's Rugby League. As a previous Australian Jillaroo and current under 19's Girls Queensland coach, Veronica boasts an incredible level of both playing and coaching experience.


Strength and conditioning is an important facet of the game. Our timetabled classes include programmed sessions that educate the students on how to improve their strength and fitness while giving them the confidence they need to be able to train independently outside of school hours which will benefit them well beyond their schooling years. The coaching team works with a qualified Personal Trainer who assists with programming and developing the knowledge of the participants.


The Girls Rugby League Program provides a basis for students to achieve success in a school setting as they are taught to be accountable for their behaviour, attendance, and academic performance. Through the push for great work ethic and the culture created within the program, students are encouraged to put their best foot forward at all times, both within Rugby League and the classroom.




At Ipswich State High School, our girls program benefits from a separate football training field, a private gym, multiple classrooms, a Girls Rugby League specific common room complete with a kitchenette, lunch room, and fridge, as well as access to the synthetic pitch when required. Through the use of these areas, our students are taught to self-manage and treat these areas with respect.


Strength and Conditioning


Students in the Girls Rugby League Program at Ipswich State High School have access to GPS technology which enables our coaching staff to perform targeted game analyse to improve individual performance and provide feedback that is game specific. Students have access to a well-equipped gym facility which is also available before school for additional sessions with the coaches. The incorporation of these sessions within the program allows our students to develop the necessary strength and conditioning components that are required to compete at an elite level. Our program aligns with the fitness and strength testing that is currently used in the NRLW by high performing female athletes.



Junior School Years 7 - 9


The junior school years program focuses heavily on teaching the foundation skills and knowledge required to become a successful rugby league player. Our program welcomes many fresh faces in the year 7 age group, some of which have never played the sport previously, so it is vital that we cover the basics in the first few years of the program. With great attention to details, our coaching staff deliver sessions that are designed to cover technical skills, game knowledge and awareness, food and nutrition education, injury prevention, as well as learning the fundamentals required to become a successful athlete.


Upon selecting the program as a timetabled subject, our students will participate in class sessions, as well as before school team trainings, gym sessions, and school representative competitions. Ipswich State High currently competes in various tournaments including Karen Murphy Cup, Titans Schoolgirls Challenge, CISSA tournaments, Union and touch football competitions, and other scheduled games with schools across the region.


The Junior Program costs $125 to participate in and includes training uniform, mouthguards, transport to and from venues, tournament fees, and strapping costs. 



Senior School Years 10 - 12


The Senior program curriculum has been designed to enhance the technical skills of the individual whilst layering understanding and development to improve tactical awareness and performance.  By developing and building upon previously acquired skills and knowledge, our senior students dive deeper into game specific tactical play with a heavy focus on defensive and attacking structures. Our students receive coaching and mentoring from former Jillaroos players as well as technique coaching, strength and conditioning programming, and GPS monitoring for performance analysis.


Game readiness and health and wellness are key components in the Senior Girls Rugby League Program. Injury prevention and rehabilitation, recovery strategies, food and nutrition, game preparation and recovery, and media practice sessions all combine to form an integral part of the program.


Our senior students participate in a mentoring program with Veronica White (former Jillaroo and Women's' Rugby League pioneer) where she takes a holistic approach to player development and helps help shape our students to become successful members of society.


Our senior players also have the opportunity to be identified through the Titans Cup Competition where they are invited to participate in the Titans Future Training academy. Here they learn the valuable skills required to become successful athletes, as well as potentially work towards playing in the NRLW. 


At Ipswich State High School, a sports specific pathway has been created for students who have elite skill sets, and the ambition to play professionally to access.


As part of the Girls Rugby League Excellence program, students are required to complete a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation in Year 11. The Certificate III in a nationally recognised qualification that students can use to enter the workforce or use this as the basis for further studies.


There is flexibility in the program and students can select an ATAR pathway. Students can then select rugby league as a subject and still benefit from the expert coaches and program curriculum while exploring other areas of academic excellence. 


Students are also encouraged and supported in their participation in a range of additional extra-curricular activities.


Scholarship students will also get the chance to review their match performances via our video analysis program and receive feedback from the number of experienced coaches.



The Senior Program costs $125 to participate in and includes training uniform, mouthguards, transport to and from venues, tournament fees, and strapping costs. 


VET Pathway


The Australian Vocational Education and Training pathway allows students to complete work ready qualifications which still at school.


In the senior years of the Program of Excellence, students undertake the Certificate III in Sport and Recreation. This covers topics such as:


  • Sports Coaching & Officiating
  • Event Management
  • First Aid
  • Workplace Health and Safety
  • Time Management
  • Work Priorities and Goal Setting


Completion of the certificate can open opportunities for students post school in areas such as sports administration and management, exercise science and sports development roles.


University Pathway


Students are also offered a USQ Headstart course which is an academic extension program for high achieving students in Years 10, 11 and 12. The course allows you to be offered and gain entry into a related USQ degree. Students will also receive two credit points towards their QCE. The Headstart course is nil in cost however some days are required on campus at the USQ where private transport is required.


There are two Headstart courses that relate to the program Students can elect to complete Introduction to Sport and Exercise which relates to options and strategies relating to studying sport and exercise content, professional issues and career expectations. The second course is Introduction to Radio Production which is where students will be able to participate in their own live radio segment on air, talking about relevant issues of the girl's rugby league.



As a program, we endeavour to provide a safe, supportive environment for your child to grow and learn to reach their full potential both on the football field and in the classroom.​

Veronica White via email:


Last reviewed 12 July 2022
Last updated 12 July 2022