Lindsay Anfield has said she is honoured to have become the first-ever recipient of the President’s Award (writes Sebastian Sternik).
Anfield, who is the head coach of the Castleford Tigers Women and is also the assistant coach of the England women’s team, was chosen by RFL President Andy Burnham for the inaugural award.
The Cumbrian is a former England international and has become only the second female to achieve her UKCC level three coaching qualification.
“I’m really honoured to be the first person to achieve this award and to be a female in rugby league is a testament to how our game is developing,” said Anfield.”
Anfield’s Castleford Tigers side are currently top of the Women’s Super League and are yet to be beaten in 2019.
Most recently, her side picked up a comprehensive 48-4 victory over Featherstone Rovers in front of a record-breaking 1,148 fans at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
As well as winning the President’s Award, Anfield will receive an expenses-paid knowledge-sharing visit to another high-performance team sport environment outside of rugby league.
For the past year, the head coach has been part of the ‘Women into High Performance Coaching’ programme. This is aimed at female coaching talent who have been identified by their governing body to have high potential.
Anfield added: “I am grateful for all the opportunities rugby league has given me on and off the field for the past 20 years.
“These experiences have encouraged me to stay involved with the game and I am passionate about driving the standards of the women’s game for the next generation.”
Anfield’s Castleford Tigers Women team continued their success story with their victory over neighbours Featherstone Rovers in the Challenge Cup in front of the Tigresses’ biggest home crowd, which was just 52 short of the all-time record for a stand-alone women’s fixture.
Lucy Eastwood put the hosts in front after just four minutes. Courtney Pointon twisted and turned away from the opposition before feeding the ball to Eastwood who powered over the whitewash.
That opening try ignited a spark among the Featherstone ranks as they responded by going on all-out attack. That attitude quickly brought results as former Castleford captain Katie Hepworth scored down the left.
However, the Tigresses led at half-time after quickfire efforts from Shona Hoyle and Sinead Peach.
After a half-time slamming from head coach Anfield, Cas came out looking like a different side for the next 40 minutes.
Kelsey Gentles turned on the style as her four tries, including an eight-minute hat-trick, took the game away from the visitors. Two more final efforts courtesy of Georgia Roche and Rhiannion Marshall sealed Castleford’s place in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup.