Pauline Wagner named NSW community coach of the year

HIGH PRAISE: Pauline Wagner was named the NSW Community female coach of the year.

HIGH PRAISE: Pauline Wagner was named the NSW Community female coach of the year.

GROWING the game for females and introducing them to the full contact version of the sport has been the main goal for Kyogle coach Pauline Wagner.

It was that drive and determination over the past 12 months which has seen her named the NSW Rugby League female coach of the year.

This year has been her first full season as a coach where she has taken the reins of the Turkeys ladies league tag team.

League Tag is the non-contact modified version of the game played by 12 teams in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition.

Kyogle were one of a handful of clubs who participated in a tackle competition before the season started in March.

Wagner wants an avenue for girls to play the game with no current tackle competition after under-12s in the junior divisions.

"That's what pushes me even more to get better at coaching because in our area there's not many clubs making the effort to bring in females, or to have girls tackling," Wagner said.

"For me while I'm relatively new to coaching I've got a passion to keep pushing so these young girls who really want to play, have the chance to play.

"I love helping others improve their own skills and that to me is why I love coaching so much.

"Seeing those improvements just motivates me more to be the best coach I can be for them."

"For me while I'm relatively new to coaching I've got a passion to keep pushing so these young girls who really want to play, have the chance to play."

Kyogle Turkeys coach Pauline Wagner

Wagner has represented the Northern Rivers Titans at representative level in recent years.

Northern Rivers players Abbie Beecher and Lizzy Ross have both excelled in tackle competitions and have gone on to play with the Tweed Seagulls in the Queensland competition.

Junior and senior representation has experienced a 30 percent growth on female participation in NSW since 2019.

2021 State of Origin series-winning NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler sent a special message to congratulate Pauline and male winner (Allan Brookman, Valley Dragons) on the awards.

"It's fantastic we have people like yourselves developing our game out in the country regions," he said.

"Without you, and without you showing care, we don't get to develop the players into the Origin players that you see today that did so well over the last six weeks."