League at­tract­ing more schools

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Phil Roache is a leaguie in a land where rugby union will al­ways rule.

The Ki­wis­port de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer for Welling­ton Rugby League – one of two newly-cre­ated com­mu­nity roles this year – has been in­volved with the game all his life.

For the past four years he has been as­sis­tant coach for his beloved Porirua Vik­ings pre­miers but has had to give it away due to his po­si­tion with WRL. Any dis­ap­point­ment has been as­suaged by get­ting to work with kids in schools, through the Lead­er­ship Through League ( LTL) pro­gramme.

‘‘It’s been great for us [WRL] and the game. The kids are just buzzing about it. When I was at Mana, we had one sea­son of league, maybe three games, and that was it. Now look how many peo­ple are in­volved and what sort of things are hap­pen­ing . . .’’

In 2011, eight col­leges in Welling­ton, Porirua and the Hutt Val­ley took part in LTL, where se­nior stu­dents go to pri­mary schools and run rugby league skills ses­sions. More than 30 pri­mary schools and 3000 kids took part.

This year an­other seven col­leges and 40 pri­mary schools are likely to take part. At the end of the LTL mod­ule, which goes for about five weeks, the col­lege stu­dents host a tour­na­ment in their area. LTL is at Aotea Col­lege this term.

The pro­gramme earns the se­nior stu­dents NCEA cred­its and has pro­vided an­other huge boost for the game in this re­gion, com­ing on the back of the suc­cess­ful Stephen Kear­ney Cup col­lege com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘The col­leges have been awe­some to deal with and there is real sup­port for rugby league in Porirua,’’ Roache said.

Lead­ing league: Porirua’s Phil Roache has spent much of his work­ing life with young peo­ple, mean­ing he was a per­fect fit for the Ki­wis­port de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer role cov­er­ing Kapiti, Porirua and Welling­ton.

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