First ARL Gateway Programme wraps up

Auckland Rugby League:

Sixteen Auckland secondary school students have this week become the first graduates of the Auckland Rugby League Growing Coaches Gateway Programme.

The students came from Tamaki College, Western Springs College, Onehunga High School and Tuakau College, and had the opportunity to earn 12 NCEA credits by taking part in the programme.

Across the three days, students were taught fundamentals of coaching and leadership at the Mt Albert Rugby League Club, before gaining practical coaching experience at the ARL’s Holiday Blast event held at Cornwall Park. On the final day, students were taken on a tour of the New Zealand Warriors’ facilities, before observing a Junior Kiwis training session at Mount Smart Stadium.

Auckland Rugby League development officer Viggo Rasmussen, who runs the programme, said while it is rugby league-based, the skills that are taught are transferable.

“It’s really pleasing to get this programme off the ground, and the goal is to set these students up with leadership and organisational skills which will be really useful to them in the future,” Rasmussen said.

“Whether they end up being used in coaching, or something completely different, these are important things to learn.”

Western Springs College student Casey Gribble, 17, said he enjoyed the hands-on approach to learning.

“It’s been really fun, I’ve loved it. I thought it would be all about book work, but to get out and help run events for the kids was cool,” he said.

“There’s been some good stuff around learning to be a leader and also speaking confidently to a group.”

The Gateway Programme is the latest education initiative to be launched by the Auckland Rugby League, and follows on from partnerships being formed with the New Zealand Institute of Sport and New Zealand Management Academies, to create a number of scholarship opportunities.