Molyneux to receive President’s Award
The RFL have confirmed that Wigan Warriors forward Victoria Molyneux will be the first recipient of a President’s Award from Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP this month.
Molyneux, who called time on a distinguished international career last November, became the first female player to be inducted into the Wigan Warriors Hall of Fame at the Club’s End of Season Awards in October.
The forward, who joined the Warriors in 2019 and has since made 47 appearances, will be presented the award at the RFL President’s Ball at the Queens Hotel in Leeds on Saturday 13 January.
The President’s Award was introduced by the Rugby Football League in 2019 to recognise inspiring work to change lives and communities through rugby league, and achievements by players, coaches and volunteers which bring the sport to new audiences.
Andy Burnham presented the first Award to Lindsay Anfield as a pioneer for women in coaching, and since she has been followed by five further winners as selected by Burnham’s successors as President – Tony Adams MBE and Clare Balding CBE.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP, the Speaker of the House of Commons, officially succeeded Clare Balding as RFL President at the 2023 President’s Ball, and accepted the invitation earlier this year to extend his term to a second year in 2024.
On informing Molyneux on her award, Sir Lindsay said: “This award is in recognition of a true trailblazer for Women’s Rugby League – which has been one of the sport’s greatest success stories over the last decade or so.”
Sir Lindsay added: “You were one of an historic group who played in the first England international in 2007, holding heritage number 3. That would be impressive enough, but to have returned as a mother to the international set-up in recent years, including in last year’s World Cup, is a truly remarkable achievement – and will be an inspiration to future generations, as it has already been to your teammates.
“The praise you rightly received when you confirmed your international retirement after the game against Wales in November was a clear indication of the respect in which you are held.
“I was delighted that Wigan recognised your special contribution by elevating you into their Hall of Fame, but I know your contribution to the sport reaches beyond Wigan, with the coaching and development you have done at the Rochdale Mayfield community club.
“Through all of this, you have been a superb ambassador for the sport of Rugby League as a whole, and for Women’s and Girls’ Rugby League in particular.
“You join an exclusive and distinguished group to have received President’s Awards, as my predecessors Andy Burnham, Tony Adams and Clare Balding have previously recognised only six former winners – and you become only the second to receive the award while still playing, following in the footsteps of Reece Lyne in 2020.”
RFL President’s Award – previous winners
- 2022 – Dr Richard Lawrence
- 2022 – Tracey Herd (Movember)
- 2020 – Mark Adams (Community Integrated Care)
- 2020 – Dr Gemma Phillips (Hull KR and England RL)
- 2019 – Reece Lyne (Wakefield Trinity)
- 2019 – Lindsay Anfield (Castleford Tigers)