Pioneering Rugby League administrator hailed after receiving MBE

Emma Rosewarne has been hailed as “one of the most influential women in sport” after receiving the MBE for services to Rugby League in the New Year Honours.

She has had a career of almost four decades in the game, holding a wide range of roles including as a pioneering head of welfare.

Rosewarne first joined the RFL in 1983 in the operations department and has been at the heart of major initiatives from the implementation of the salary cap to safeguarding policy and equality work, as well as contributing to the work of Rugby League Cares.

Former RFL president Tony Adams said: “Emma Rosewarne embodies all that has been good in the development of player welfare in sport over the last two decades.

“I have no hesitation in suggesting that this unsung hero has been one of the most influential women in sport in my lifetime. Her work has not only changed lives; it has saved them.”

RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer also paid tribute to Rosewarne, as well as Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Adam Hills who have also received MBEs.

Comedian and broadcaster Hills was recognised for his services to Paralympic sport and disability awareness, having been instrumental in the development of Physical Disability Rugby League.

“These awards are fitting recognition for three wonderful people who have given so much to the sport of Rugby League,” hailed Rimmer.

“Jamie Jones-Buchanan embodies the best qualities of the sport – a fearless competitor on the field, immensely respected by all who played with and against him and continuing since retirement as a magnificent servant and ambassador for Leeds Rhinos, his hometown club, as well as for the city itself.

“Emma Rosewarne has been a trailblazer both as a woman in sports administration, and in the range of roles she filled with such distinction, culminating in her outstanding work on player welfare, both with the RFL and Rugby League Cares.

“Adam Hills has also been a trailblazer in our sport, in his case for Physical Disability Rugby League. He’s taken the inspirational stories of the players involved to a national and international audience – and the great thing is he’s continued to play himself, despite the odd setback, with his unmistakeable love for the sport proving both uplifting and infectious.

“I’m so pleased Jamie, Emma and Adam have been recognised in this way, and I’m sure many others across Rugby League and well beyond will feel the same way.”

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