USARL Inc. Board of Directors Elects New Members
In the wake of the 2023 annual general meeting (AGM) on March 26 2023, the USARL Inc. are pleased to announce the addition of four new board members for the coming year. These board members cover the men's and women's game; west and east coasts; the Midwest; and a range of experiences and expertise. The new board members are: Miranda Barnard, Darren Piggins, Janet Kean, and David Abo.
Miranda Barnard has been serving as chair of the USARL Hawks women's committee chair over the past year, and takes a well-deserved role on the NGB board in a sign of the commitment to growing the women's game in the USA. Miranda has been involved in high-level sports for most of her life, from qualifying for the junior Olympic shooting team at the age of 14, to roller derby in Alabama, to rugby union in Florida, to rugby league all over the United States - competitive sports are in Miranda's DNA. Miranda plans to grow the sport of rugby league by leaning on lessons learned from her years of experience working and fundraising for multiple nonprofits, and by cultivating a culture of transparency in USARL. Miranda lives with her beautiful family in Jacksonville, FL where she is an active, respected, and beloved member of her church and community.
Darren Piggins was born in Australia, and is a successful entrepreneur who built his first business from the ground up. Starting with one store in Wollongong he built to having stores across Australia, the USA, and New Zealand. Darren has lived in Sarasota, Florida since 2016 with his wife Brooke and three children: sons Wesley and Liam who play for the SWFL Copperheads, and daughter Alana. He is a South Sydney Rabbitohs supporter, feeling the influence of his uncle George Piggins, a Souths great. He looks forward to bringing his business experience and knowledge of the game to the board to help with growing the game in the US.
Janet Kean is based in Chicago, but was born in St. Helens, UK, and therefore was born to love rugby league! From watching her brother play to supporting the mighty Saints, it was never a case of if, but when she would play herself! Being a trailblazer at college, she founded her college's first women's rugby team, then moved on to coaching, gaining her RFL Level 1 & 2 coaching certificates during her post-graduate studies at Leeds University. Since moving to Illinois in 2006, Janet has immersed herself in the rugby world in the USA. She can still be found playing on the occasional social team and looks forward to bringing rugby league to the masses - from grassroots players to supporters of our national teams.
Finally, David Abo joins the board of USARL, serving as a representative for Pacific Coast Rugby League (PCRL) and the west coast. David was born in the US but grew up playing junior rugby league in his adopted hometown north of Sydney. David also sits on the board for PCRL, further widening the USARL board's geographical representation. While David still gets out on the field, his strengths lie in his Sales and Marketing abilities, and proving his effectiveness by landing handfuls of partnerships for PCRL so far. David looks forward to bringing those skills to USARL in his commitment to grow the game of rugby league.
These four individuals will join existing board members Drew Slover, Billy Neilson, and Cody Kuxmann, with a chair to be elected in due course.