Developing young ruggers

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The participants during the training practice. Picture: FNRL COMMUNITY AND PATHWAYS

The Rise Rookie Program with the Fiji National Rugby League (FNRL) continues to thrive with many young rugby league enthusiasts signing up for the program.

The Rise Rookie program offers young players an opportunity to obtain specialised training and education through a holistic rugby league development experience.

Last month, many turned up for the Rise Rookies training that was held in Albert Park.

For each day the players turned up for training they would wear coloured t-shirts which represented something.

According to FNRL Community and Pathway the colour yellow which the players wore symbolised positivity and second chances.

It celebrated the players successes in exams and it also honoured those that gave their all in the exams.

Fiji National Rugby League media administration officer, Kelera Tagivakatini said they wanted to show their support and to encourage the players to continue with school and that they still have a second chance in achieving their goals – whether they passed or failed.

Ms Tagivakatini said the program was for girls from the ages of 18 to 25 when it started but they also had secondary school students who were from the ages of 15 to 18 that joined the program.

“We had girls from Namosi, who were our secondary school champions – the Namosi Titans, we had girls from Lomaivuna Secondary School, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial High School, girls from Yasayasa Moala College, from Richmond Methodist High School in Kadavu and Yat Sen School,” she said.

“We want people to see that the program is a pathway for girls in rugby league and that it does make an impact.”

She said the progress on the program has been rewarding.

Through the program, the girls not only learn about rugby league but also learn about spiritual growth and other developments.

“It’s good to see players take ownership for their love of rugby league.

We believe that they are the foundation, and if the foundation is strong – it will have a great outcome,” she said.

The program is not only making players fitter, faster and stronger but it’s also equipping them with good life skills as well.

She said for the girls who are part of the program, the training is a build-up to a tournament in March at Gold Coast, Australia.

They also had some male players join them for that holiday program at Albert Park.

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