Amanda Wilkinson has become Rugby League’s first female Level 3-qualified coach in the history of the sport.
Amanda, who is the Wigan Warriors Community Foundation Manager, receives her Level 3 qualification following the completion of a two-year course, during which time she has passed numerous written and practical coaching assessments.
“I have always loved coaching,” said Amanda, who has a wealth of coaching experience from time spent coaching almost all age groups at Milford Marlins, the Leeds Rhinos scholarship team and England Ladies Student RL, amongst others.
“I have always loved coaching. It is quite good to be the first to do something, but I just want to be seen as equal,” she said.
“I think it is about realising what different attributes I, and women, can bring to the sport. My approach is to break things down with a player and look at their technical issues and see how they move.
“At Leeds Rhinos, Ryan Hall was one of my scholarship players and I did a lot of one-to-one work with him, looking at videos of his technique,” said Amanda, who has also played competitively for Barrow Ladies and Great Britain.
“Although my work with him might represent one percent of all the coaching time he has had, it is rewarding to see him as one of the best players in the world.”
RFL National Player Development Manager Dave Rotheram said: “Amanda richly deserves to be awarded with this Level 3 coaching qualification, which is one of the highest Rugby League coaching qualifications available. She has shown commitment, diligence and a high level of coaching quality throughout the course.
“To become the first female to achieve the Level 3 qualification in the history of the sport is a testament to her character and commitment to the game, where she has excelled in each role she has found herself.
“I am sure she will be just the first of many top-quality female coaches to come."
RFL Equality and Diversity Manager Sarah Williams MBE said: “It is fantastic that on International Women’s Day we are celebrating the fact that Amanda Wilkinson has become the first and only female Level 3 Rugby League coach.
“I hope as a result of this achievement more women and girls are inspired to get involved with and succeed in all areas of Rugby League. In the words of our Tackle IT! programme: ‘this is your sport, whoever you are!’.”
Tackle IT! is the RFL’s game-wide programme which celebrates diversity within Rugby League, relates the importance of reporting any unacceptable language or behaviour and promotes a zero-tolerance attitude to discrimination and abuse relating to gender, gender identity, race, disability, age, religion or faith and sexual orientation.
For enquiries regarding equality and diversity within Rugby League, please contact RFL Equality and Diversity Manager Sarah Williams MBE on firstname.lastname@example.org.