Women in Rugby League will take centre stage at an exhibition in Barrow this weekend.

Northern Competitions Stadium is hosting an event that will bring to life over 40 years of women’s rugby league in Cumbria.

The event is part of the Women in Rugby League: The Pioneering Years project, which marks over 40 years since the first women’s clubs were founded.

The project will uncover, document, and celebrate the history of sportswomen who joined rugby league clubs since the 1980s. It aims to remember the achievements and legacies of those who paved the way for thousands of young women to join the sport and introduce girls to new role models.

The project will collect, catalogue and display the history of women’s club rugby league, with workshops, exhibitions, and public events at ten major rugby league-playing towns across northern England.

On Saturday April 27, the home of Barrow Raiders will feature memorabilia including medals, trophies, and newspaper reports that showcase the history of local female rugby players.

They will also host a number of current and former players including Mary Mac, who is now the director of Women's Rugby at Barrow Raiders and organised the exhibition.

Mary wants to re-engage girls in the sport by sharing the stories, mementos and souvenirs of former players.

She said: “I am incredibly excited and honoured to be hosting this event which will shine a spotlight on the early years of women’s rugby league in the region and its growth since then.

“We want to unearth as much memorabilia as we can, and I hope that everyone involved in women’s rugby league can try and dig out anything they can find and share it with us.

“It will be a fantastic day and a real celebration of those pioneering women in rugby league.”

The event will take place from 11:45am before the Raiders’ Super League game against York Valkyrie.

Former referee and RFL director Julia Lee is a driving force behind the project.

She said: “We want everyone who was part of women’s rugby league in the early years to come along and be part of the celebrations. Without them, there’d be no teams and we’d love to hear about their experiences and share their memories.

“Although they may not realise it, these women were real pioneers who are still role models today and we want them to realise the importance of what they did.

“Our aim is for them to feel a sense of belonging and for others to learn about what they did.”