League eyes juniors’ comp

Tuesday February 28, 2017 Written by Published in League
Cook Islands Rugby League is keen to host a juniors’ tournament to foster the development of the sport in Rarotonga. 17022332 Cook Islands Rugby League is keen to host a juniors’ tournament to foster the development of the sport in Rarotonga. 17022332

In a bid to foster the development of rugby league at the lower age group level, the Cook Islands Rugby League Association (CIRLA) is planning to organise a juniors’ tournament.

 

CIRLA competition co-ordinator Taua Benioni said the tournament would be either played in the Nines or the 13s format.

“Our last Nines (juniors) tournament had to be cancelled due to the passing of a well-established league colleague Rea Rea from Ngatangiia and Titikaveka,” he said.

Benioni said the tournament would hopefully draw more interest for the juniors as well as coaches and organisers. 

“It’s heart breaking when you turn up to a club event to watch a match whether it be rugby league or rugby union and you see around the outside of the field area, in front of everyone or the in goal area, all these young, age group children with a ball playing their own little competition.”

When told to sit down and watch the match, Benioni said they complain about having no competition to play in and showcase their talent.

“All they want is to be part of the competition and play.”

Benioni said they have to focus on the junior grades if they wanted to improve the development of the game in the Cook Islands.

“Juniors and minor grades are just as important as the senior grades. We can’t just say ‘we have no grade’ and turn your focus on your premiers,” he said.

“They are our future as everyone knows.  They’ve always looked up to their seniors and the seniors should also look after them and help out in every way possible as they were also juniors once.”

Benioni is hoping all local clubs will be fielding their junior players in the Under-11s and U13 grades at Avatiu and Arorangi this weekend.

“I also encourage all young players in the U17 or U15 grades to come along wherever your club is competing this weekend and be counted.”        

Meanwhile Takuvaine Warriors will take on Aitutaki Sharks in the premier match today at 5pm in Aitutaki while in the reserves, the Warriors will match up against the Titikaveka Bulldogs, also at 5pm, at Teimurimotia Field.

Tomorrow, Arorangi Bears will host Tupapa Panthers while Avatiu Nikao Eels will play Ngatangiia/Matavera Sea Eagles at The Swamp.

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