Fantastic Article in the Daily Telegraph by Amanda Lulham announcing that Grace Hamilton will be the Patron of NSW Junior Rugby in 2021.
Grace and her family have had a long association with NSW Juniors & NSW Country Juniors - our U18 Girls City vs Country game is contested for the Grace Hamilton Shield - so very fitting that Grace has agreed to be our Patron for 2021. A fine role model for young girls coming through the game.
When Grace Hamilton was growing up she said she didn’t even know girls could play rugby. Now she’s a Wallaroo's gun on a mission.
March 4, 2021 - 1:53PM
Growing up in country NSW Grace Hamilton was a rugby fan.
From a rugby loving family and with a father who gave much to the game as a high-ranking volunteer, Hamilton loved the sport although she didn’t play.
Now, after an unusual journey from the family farm at Panuara to playing the game in the US for the first time, Hamilton is an established Wallaroos and Waratahs gun and taking on a new role to inspire more women to the game.
Hamilton, who has just finished her masters in teaching and is working at The Scots College, has been named as patron of NSW Junior Rugby Union, a role she takes as seriously as her rugby for NSW Country, the Waratahs and the Wallaroos.
The player she never got to see as a youngster growing up prior to rugby pathways expanding for the women’s game.
“I am seeing such a rise in women’s numbers,’’ said Hamilton, who first cracked the Wallaroos in 2016, was named Wallaroos captain in 2019 and has won two premierships with the NSW Waratahs in Super W.
“When I grew up I didn’t even know girls played rugby.
“I saw my photo on a poster the other day. It was crazy. I never thought something like that would happen, a woman’s face on ae rugby poster.
“If I can show one little girl you can be from the country and one day be an Australian player then I have achieved something special.
“I want all young girls to think they can do anything and I’m stoked to take on this role.”
Hamilton, who played NRLW with the Sydney Roosters last year and is with Sydney Uni in the Jack Scott Cup, said her late father John Hamilton played a significant role in creating new pathways for young girls.
“He was involved in Country Rugby and Central West rugby and was president of Country Junior Rugby,’’ she said of her father, who was also vice president of NSW Junior Rugby and a great advocate for girls and women in the sport.
“When I started playing he said we need to make a pathway for the girls as well.
“He supported it and instigated it and it just took off and now there’s a great pathway.
“It’s important to be seen as an advocate for the sport. We have to get it better.’’
“We are honoured to have Grace as our patron. She represents a lot of really positive attributes for the women's game,’’ said NSW Junior Rugby Union president Ben Gregory.
“Her father was a real force behind the women’s game, for getting the women's game up and running in Country NSW.
“Grace’s patronage is a nice nod to this history.’’