With the world's very best women rugby league players about to take to the field later in the day at Southern Cross Group Stadium, the youngsters enjoyed a taste of rugby league with an all girls Gala Day held at two nearby venues last Thursday. 

Organised and administered by the Sharks and played on the morning of the opening day of the Women’s Rugby League World Cup, 15 teams from local and visiting Primary Schools took part in the Sharks Gala Day, an event providing the option of playing tackle rugby league or the non-contact version of League Touch. 

The event, which was played by year 5 and 6 students, was conducted at the Captain Cook Oval and Sharks Academy Fields at Cronulla High School. 

Teams traveling from Penrith (Crawford PS), Newcastle (Cessnock PS), Wollongong and from as far as Narooma on the Far South Coast, a four and a half hour trip, joined local Sutherland Shire schools in the Primary Schools event.

The variety of schools and the distance they travelled demonstrated their interest to be involved in the Sharks Primary Schools Gala Day, with the girls also getting the chance to take in some of the action of the Women’s World Cup opening ceremony and the first day games which followed. 

In addition to the girls competing in the gala day, over 600 local school children participated in the WRLWC Opening Ceremony at Southern Cross Group Stadium, an event choreographed by Sharks Mermaids Co-ordinator Jacqueline Elliott and shown live nationally on Channel 7. 

And as a lead in to the third round of pool matches tomorrow, the High Schools Gala was scheduled to kickoff, with 32 teams again competing in either contact rugby league or in the non-contact league touch competition. 

Ulladulla High will make the three hour trip to take part, Narooma High will mirror the participation of their Primary School counterparts and make the trip to Sutherland Shire, with teams from all parts of Sydney, Wollongong joining local schools competing on the day. 

The Sharks conducted the gala days as a part of their continued efforts to promote female participation in rugby league, while they also managed and coordinated the schools dance performance at the opening ceremony. 

The final pool games in the World Cup, again scheduled for Southern Cross Group Stadium, will be played tomorrow (Wednesday) with the gala day event kicking off earlier in the day in giving all teams an opportunity to watch the very best female rugby league players in action.