Little Jets ready for take off
MINCHINBURY JETS LEADING THE INITIATIVE
Players as young as three will get their first taste of rugby league during a new trial program aimed at changing misconceptions about the game.
LITTLIES as young as three will learn how to pass and tackle as part of a trial program aimed at combating the belief rugby league is a dangerous sport.
The Minchinbury Jets will be the first club in Penrith and District Rugby League to take part in the initiative.
The non-competitive course, called the Little Jets Program, runs for 10 weeks and allows kids aged 3-5 to learn the skills of touch, tag or tackle football before making the decision to join a club. The Minchinbury Jets will run its own program this year - starting at the end of this month - which will be insured by the NRL.
The NRL will then take over the program from next season on.
Minchinbury Jets registrar Lisa Grisedale, who is in charge of the program, said there was a definite stigma about rugby league among parents.
“Soccer has the little kickers and the AFL go into all the schools whereas rugby league is kind of falling behind,” Ms Grisedale said.
“I want to kind of encourage the parents to teach them to see that there is a safe-play code.”
Ms Grisedale said she had been trying to start a program like this for years.
“I originally want to start a program for my son because he was too young to play,” she said.
NRL school program coordinator Matt Schubert said the program aimed to encourage parents who were unfamiliar with rugby league to let their kids try it.
“We want to change their preconceived ideas that it is dangerous so they can do this introductory program,” Mr Schubert said. “A lot of clubs in (the) south coast have done it and they have been really successful.”
Penrith District Junior Rugby League general manager Phil Cummings said he supported the idea.
“I think it’s a good idea and it gives the kids a little program before they come to play next season,” he said. The juniors will play with no more than six people on the field at once.
The Little Jets program will run for an hour on Wednesday nights from September 30 through to December 3. Registration for the 10week program is $100 and includes a uniform and the contribution to the awards presentation at the end of the course.
Details: 0417 718 688.
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Ashton, 3, Blair, 3, and Indianna Grisedale, 2, are excited about the new league program.
Ashton, 3, Indianna, 2, and Blair, 3, are gearing up for the coming Little Jets program.