League attracting more schools
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.