The organisers of this year's Rugby League World Cup are hoping to use the sport as a means to promote well-being and leadership to children. They worked alongside the Government and the NZRL to launch The RLWC Educational Resource.
These are today's leaders bringing in an educational resource for tomorrow's leaders.
Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister Sports and Recreation says, “I think it will firstly stimulate an interest in rugby league which is what the New Zealand Rugby League is interested in. From the Governments point of view, we're interested in kids getting more active. So, whether that's league, soccer or netball or whatever, that's fine by me, because actually, we've got an obesity problem in this country.”
With the World Cup starting in October, it is also an opportunity for the children to learn about the competition where the Kiwis will be looking to win back the trophy.
Krystal Rota - Kiwi Ferns says, “The kids that aren't already engaged in Rugby League, just sort of opening their eyes to what Rugby League is all about both on the field and off the field. These resources obviously talk about your health and well-being, leadership and resilience. So those aspects are not just what you would put into the field, but what you would put in day to day life.”
The program teaches well-being, resilience and leadership. Kiwi international Adam Blair was one of those players who embodies all three aspects.
Jerome Ropati, NZRL says, “There was a period where he obviously didn't make the Kiwis side due to form, or whatever it is change of clubs. He bounced back from it, got himself in good condition, got himself into a great club with the Broncos. Just pressed forward.”
The introduction of the Educational Resource by RLWC2017 and the government into schools will provide the necessary tools for children to pursue career opportunities.
Dr Coleman says, “I think it's great bringing sports into schools like this. But also, using opportunities like The Rugby League World Cup to engage more children in their learning.”
When the time comes, these future leaders will be ready to see today’s leaders run around when the Rugby League World Cup starts.