Taking League to new heights

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With the launch of a new programme, league is laying the groundwork for the next generation of Simon Mannerings.

Tasman Rugby League (TRL) has launched the legacy programme to boost the sport’s profile, cater for rising playing numbers and take advantage of the expected surge generated by next year’s Rugby League World Cup.

The $21,000 programme, which started this month and will run for a year, recently received a $7000 Kiwisport grant from Sport Tasman which will cover coaching time and medical, transport and equipment costs. It has also received financial support from Rata Foundation and Southern Zone Rugby League Inc.

It has three key components, with the first focusing on training more coaches and referees and coach educators to mentor them so TRL can cope with the growth in playing numbers.

The second is delivering new programmes and resources into 14 primary and three intermediate schools in Nelson, Motueka and Blenheim, including training teachers to help deliver these initiatives into the future. It will also involve festival tournaments as part of NZ Rugby League’s World Cup programme.

The third is delivering fundamental skill sessions to kids in those primary schools who haven’t already received them and are keen to give it a go.

Southern Zone Rugby League (SZRL) general manager Steve Martin says TRL has been running the skills coaching programme and competitions in schools for six years which has created a strong base of interest in the game.

“The legacy programme is all about getting more kids playing the game and resourcing schools so they can do that. Over the longer term we want to see these kids join clubs and for a junior league to start that will provide a structure and pathway for them because they are the future of the game.’’