Harden Hawkettes player Emma James has been awarded an incredible fourth straight George Tooke Shield Ladies League Tag Best and Fairest Award at the 2021 McIntyre Medal Awards, capping off an incredible season for the team.
James has been part of the Harden league tag side since 2015, and picked up her first Best and Fairest medal in 2017.
James says that it is really special to win the award this year alongside her teammates.
"It's such an honour to win this award, and a great personal achievement. It's such a great honour to represent my family and my club," James said.
"I definitely didn't think I'd win one let alone four, there's a lot of great talent in our competition so definitely pretty proud to win four of these great awards."
The Hawkettes went through the 2021 competition undefeated, scoring 490 points and claiming the minor premiership.
As captain of the side, James says that she was really proud of the effort of her teammates.
"It was disappointing we couldn't go into the finals series together but I'm always proud of the girls and the effort they put in," James said
"Where we finished this season, on top, undefeated and minor premiers, is another great achievement for us as a team."
James has recently become an NRL Game Development Officer in the South-West region, which covers the Wagga, Griffith and Albury areas. Under the role, the Officers promote rugby league from a grass roots level, supporting schools and clubs in growing participation levels.
James says that while it's been difficult this year due to COVID-19, she's looking forward to get back into it next year.
Being a role model and seeing all the passionate kids at the schools and clinics is something that James loves about the job.
“That was a part of the job I was really happy about. Obviously being female myself and being a part of the participation levels of women’s rugby league and also league tag growing around our local area, which is a good thing to be a part of,” James said.