Touch football- Tia McLellan
Touch football- Tia McLellan Tom Daunt

Gympie rugby league player paves the way for young women

RUGBY LEAGUE: She may only be 13 years-of-age but Gympie rugby league and touch football product Tia McLellan is a pioneer.

The St Patrick's College Year 8 student is paving the way for young girls in the traditionally male dominated sport.

On the back of representative honours for Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast touch football, McLellan has been named in the Sunshine Coast Gold girls rugby league team.

It will be her first time in Falcons colours after previously representing Wide Bay.

It is these representative honours across both codes that has lead McLellan to be named as the latest Sunshine Coast sports Federation development winner for Gympie.

Having played rugby league since she was five, 2017 is the first year McLellan has featured in an all-girls competition and has made the transition to the Noosa Pirates who play in the Sunshine Coast premiership.

McLellan said she is excited to be playing rugby league at a time where the opportunity for women to play professionally was increasing.

"I love touch (football) and rugby league the same, but if rugby league was going to pay me to play I would have to go with league,” she said.

Not only focusing on playing the game, McLellan is urging more young women to take to the field with hopes of boosting the quality of the Sunshine Coast competition.

In other sunshine Coast Sports Federation news sprinter Samantha Stanley took out this month's junior award while para-cyclist Kyle Bridgewood won a silver and bronze at the recent world championships to take the senior award.