It was a big day for women's rugby league at Craven Park last Sunday, with Barrow Ladies playing their first-ever match at the home of Barrow Raiders.

But before they defeated Oulton Raidettes 16-0 in what was their final home game of the season, the young girls who hope to follow in their footsteps one day took to the pitch for a mini rugby tournament.

Much of it was based on developing their skills, with some still a novice to the sport and others part of the Raiders' girls training sessions, which have been taking place at the ground every Saturday morning for almost three months.

Siona Hartley, who is community liaison officer with the Raiders, said: "We couldn't do our session on the Saturday because of the Cancer Care Day we had at the club, but we wanted to have a little bit of a festival before the main event, so we invited them down and we've had a good turnout.

"It's all about raising the profile of girls and women in rugby, so we thought it would be a good occasion to have the girls playing before the women.

"We wanted the more experienced ones to have a bit of contact and we wanted the younger ones to play tag because obviously that's safer.

"We've had some new ones to try it out for the first time, so it's about getting the girls thinking not that they can't play rugby, but knowing that they can play rugby."

While the rugby league season may be drawing to an end, the Raiders will be continuing their community work through the winter, with Hartley looking for an indoor venue for the girls' sessions once the weather turns.

It's set to be a busy time for Hartley, as her helpers Stargroth Amean and Wartovo Puara have returned to their native Papua New Guinea during Barrow's off-season.

"We're hoping to get sponsorship for our Saturday sessions, so we can continue to offer them for free right throughout the winter, so it doesn't stop but builds and builds," Hartley said.

"Over the coming months, I'm going to continue to go into schools to represent Barrow Raiders - I won't be able to cover as many schools because I'll be on my own and we're also getting teenagers into sports leadership courses."