Mandy Ibbison, a rugby league coach from Wigan St. Patricks ALRFC, has been crowned the winner of Foxy Bingo Ladies of the League community programme.
Wigan Warriors captain, Sean O’Loughlin and half-back, George Williams surprised Mandy at the club to tell her the good news.
The national campaign, open to all rugby league fans, was launched to identify the unsung heroes of the sport, recognising ladies that go the extra mile for their club and community. The competition received hundreds of nominations which were eventually narrowed down to a shortlist of ten outstanding ladies. After thousands of votes, and a thorough review process by the Super League judges, a winner was chosen.
David Ibbison, Mandy’s husband was one of many to nominate her for the competition saying: “She always goes the extra mile and never asks for anything, just like thousands of volunteers across rugby league that all deserve a medal.”
Mandy is a dedicated coach, supporter and driving force at the club, organising training, fixtures and administration for multiple teams. She has played an integral part in recruiting fans and new players of the game, young and old. Her passion has inspired others, particularly the ladies, to get involved in rugby whether it be playing, coaching, refereeing or volunteering.
Wigan St. Pats is renowned for producing rugby talent, with both Sean and George having spent time playing there as juniors along with a host of other Super League stars.
Speaking about the competition, Sean commented “Foxy Bingo’s Ladies of the League is a great award to acknowledge some of the really talented women involved in our sport.”
On receiving the news she had won, Mandy said: “Ending up in the final 10 and then winning has left me speechless. Everyone who knows me, knows this rarely happens!
“I’m so glad that women in our sport are being recognised by this award. I am humbled but extremely proud to receive this.”
The four finalists Patricia Benatmane, Yvonne Brown, Tara Jones and Catherine Bullock were highly commended by the judges for their commitment to the sport and their clubs.
The finalists will celebrate the end of the competition at the Man of Steel awards, alongside the stars of the Super League. Mandy receives £1000 holiday vouchers, £1000 donation from Foxy Bingo to put towards a community project at Wigan St. Patricks.