IN ACTION: Clarence Coast Magpies juniors in action at Yamba
IN ACTION: Clarence Coast Magpies juniors in action at Yamba Clarence Coast Magpies

Colleagues sing praises of Magpie up for CRL gong

DESPITE her son no longer playing the sport, Kerry Lee has worked tirelessly to advance the game of rugby league and her efforts have not gone unnoticed.

The Group 1 Junior Rugby League secretary has been nominated in the Women in League category for the 2019 Country Rugby League Community awards to be held on Saturday in Sydney. The award recognises women who have advocated for the advancement and opportunity of women in rugby league. The winner automatically becomes a nominee in the NRL Women in League award.

Ms Lee said it was "very humbling” to be nominated for the award and it was a reflection of the great number of volunteers who she worked with throughout the rugby league community.

"I am pleased with the nomination. A lot of people put in a lot of effort and it is nice to be recognised,” she said.

"There is a great culture and a lot of talent in our region and I really enjoy working with all the clubs in promoting the sport and building on opportunities for the players.”

Ms Lee's rugby league journey began when her son played for the Clarence Coast Junior RL club. She became secretary for five years then became involved with the administration of Group 1 where she has been secretary and a member of the executive. Magpies president Dan Nikas said Ms Lee was so much more than a secretary.

"Kerry really defines what it is to be a volunteer and she really embodies what small clubs need,” he said.

"She is the first to arrive and the last to leave when anything needs to get done and I couldn't think of anyone more fitting to receive the award.”

Group 1 president Brad Mansfield said Ms Lee continued to "put her hand up for everything” and the whole rugby league community wished her the best.

"She is a real champion and this is very well deserved,” he said.

"I have been doing this for a fairly long time and I haven't really found anyone that puts their hand up for so much work and doesn't let anyone down.”

Reflecting on what she enjoyed most about her role, Ms Lee said it was this time of year as the season came to an end and she could enjoy the progress the kids had made throughout the year. Ms Lee said the sport had changed in regard to women's involvement.

"In the years I have been involved there are more girls coming into the sport with the introduction of girls league tag, womens tackle and junior female referees,” she said.