HISTORY: Bowen’s Chelsea McLeod was presented with the Player of the Year award at the Proserpine Junior Rugby League award night. This makes her the first female to ever win the award.
HISTORY: Bowen’s Chelsea McLeod was presented with the Player of the Year award at the Proserpine Junior Rugby League award night. This makes her the first female to ever win the award.

Making Whitsunday rugby league history

A BOWEN girl has broken into the Whitsunday history books after being the first female to take out a prestigious sporting award.

Bowen rugby league athlete, Chelsea McLeod, took home the silverware for Player of the Year at the Proserpine Whitsunday Junior Rugby League awards.

McLeod winning the award marks the first time in the club's 54 year history that a female has been given the top honours, an honour made even more exciting given that this was McLeod's first year of club football.

"I'm so proud of myself being able to take out this award," McLeod said.

"It really inspires me to keep the momentum going on my football skills and career.

"I'm going to aim for back-to-back wins on the award now."

There must be something in the water in Bowen with McLeod's win marking three consecutive years of a Bowen-based player winning the award.

The talented sporting star captained her team at the Brahmans and has risen through the representative ranks to play for the Mackay Cutters in their girls' teams with eyes now on an even bigger target.

"I'd like to be able to play for the Northern Marlins which is a step up from the Cutters," McLeod said.

"I've been inspired by some of the girls who have come out of the region and are now playing for the NRLW league."

McLeod, who plays halfback at a club level and second row in representative level, said she wants to inform girls that rugby league 'isn't just for boys anymore.'

She hopes that her award will inspire some girls who have been sitting on the fence to come and give the sport a try.
"It's really great fun and something people should look at," she said.

"Don't be afraid and think it's a boys' sport, it's not anymore. Come down and give it a go and we'll show you how good the game is."