Penrith trio signed as S2S Rugby League Ambassadors

STEPS 2 Success Sports Australia owner and director Robert Vai has a master’s degree in teaching and over 10 years of experience in both physical education and coaching, thereby offering a wealth of expertise in his company’s partnership with Emu Plains JRLFC.

Rob is a dedicated PE teacher and coach, who applies innovative strategies to empower athletes with expertise, fostering a lifelong passion for play and learning.

The latest female recruits to S2S are Rory Muller, Aliyah Nasio and Anita Saito, three exciting young NRLW players from Penrith, who have joined as Ambassadors and have already made an immediate impact on the development of women and girls in the Penrith district.

“I had the pleasure of being involved in the Tonga Rugby League U16 Girls’ teams, where I met these three girls,” said Rob. “Following the Rugby League Harmony Cup 9s, I reached out to their parents about the girls jumping on board as junior coaches and as ambassadors of S2S Girls footy.

“In highlighting these ambassadors, we aim to underscore the importance of positive role models in the lives of younger girls. We recognise that during the teenage years, peers become the biggest influencers.
As an educator, I’ve observed the profound impact teenagers have on themselves and the groups they associate with.

“These ambassadors serve as beacons of positivity, demonstrating that you don’t have to be an NRLW player to be a positive figure in the community. They embody the values upheld by S2S, showcasing that positive role modelling starts with ourselves.

“Anita transitioned from eight years of Netball to Rugby 7s in 2021, playing with Penrith RSL, then joining the Western Raptors for Rugby Union. In 2022, she embraced Rugby League with Emu Plains, demonstrating unparalleled dedication by simultaneously playing both league and union. This commitment continued into 2023, where she focused exclusively on Rugby League and is currently part of the Penrith Panthers U17’s Lisa Fiaola train on squad.

Rory is one of our exceptional S2S Girls Rugby League Ambassadors, whose journey exemplifies the transformative power of sport in shaping not only an athlete but a positive role model for young girls in Western Sydney.

“Rory’s athletic journey has been diverse, spanning both Rugby Union and Rugby League, where she currently plays with the Parramatta Eels Tasha Gail squad during preseason. What sets Rory apart is not just her prowess on the field but the maturity and growth she has gained through her experiences.

“Aliyah is an outstanding 16-year-old Rugby League and Rugby Union player, whose achievements and honours make her a true superstar in the sports world.

“Aliyah’s impressive playing history began at the age of six, and her list of achievements strongly reflects her talent and dedication. Notably, she captained the U12’s Premier-winning team for St Mary’s and made history as the first girl to play for the boys’ Sydney Southwest Rugby League team. Aliyah’s skills extend to Rugby Union, where she participated in the Australian Rugby 7’s program and was selected for various high-profile teams, including the Australian 7’s Merit Team.

“In August 2022, at the young age of 16, Aliyah secured an NRLW contract with the Sydney Roosters, marking a significant milestone. Her ability to play in different positions was further demonstrated as she played for the Central Coast women’s Harvey Norman team and represented the City Women’s Team Opens at only 16 years old, showcasing her outstanding talent at such a young age.”