He said an excellent turnout was recorded during the Wednesday session of the programme.
“A total of 80 young enthusiastic rugby league players and up to 15 promising junior coaches attended,” Benioni said.
He held an introductory workshop for coaches only on Tuesday night, planning their strategies for the week, looking forward to today’s junior rugby league Araura development match.
Yesterday, Benioni said they held a team bonding session for players before dividing them into Araura West and East teams for today’s challenge.
The play safe rules were also introduced during the coaches’ workshop earlier this week.
“Eat well, play well, stay well is the theme for Friday’s hit-out.”
The competition today will kick off at 3.30pm with the U11s, followed by the U13 match at 4pm and the development U17 clash at 4.30pm.
“There’s a huge amount of talent within the U17 players and they showed it during our programme. All they need is the right coaching and more exposure and that means they have to be a part of a competitive event,” Benioni said.
“Aitutaki can have an event here with all grades but at a smaller scale, thus the West versus East concept as a curtain raiser game before their premier team play in Aitutaki.”
Benioni said it was important to develop the players at the young age to help ignite their passion for the game.
“So we ask for all to get down to the park and support the kids as they are there because they love the game.”
Refereeing the games will be the coaches, guided by the experienced Benioni.
Alongside improving the skills of young players, CIRLA’s major focus remains on coaching and accrediting local coaches.
“CIRLA insist coaches have to be certified and be accredited by signing up for assessment, which is now one of the CIRLA competitions conditions,” Benioni said.
“Coaches such as Panthers’ Darren Piri, Andrew Iroa, Bears’ Robert Heather, Turori Matutu, Eels’ Albert Nicholas, Warriors’ Sid Toa and young Sea Eagles coach Teariki Peyroux have all signed up and in line to meet the league criteria.
“Sharks coach Tai Nelio has now made himself available for this programme alongside others here in Aitutaki.”
Meanwhile, the domestic rugby league competition continues with the premier clash between Tupapa Panthers and Aitutaki Sharks at Victoria Park today at 5pm.
In other premier matches to be held tomorrow, TKV Warriors will host Titikaveka Bulldogs while the Arorangi Bears will take on defending champions Avatiu Nikao Eels at Raemaru Park.
Today: 5pm Premiers Panthers-Sharks at Victoria Park (Referee: Arthur Emile William, Lines: Taripo/Poso Ngaroi, Bench: Paul Allsworth/Tofiga Aisake), 5pm Reserves TKV Warriors-Bulldogs at Takuvaine (Referee: June Henry, Lines: Paul and Teariki Peyroux)
Saturday: 4.30pm Premier TKV Warriors-Bulldogs at Takuvaine (Referee: Tua Manea, Lines: Koa Kopu/Paul Peyroux, Bench: Papa Pat/June Henry), 4pm Reserves Panthers-Sea Eagles at Tupapa (Referee: Paul Allsworth, Lines: Sean Willis/William Taripo), 3pm Under 19 Panthers0-Sea Eagles at Tupapa (Referee: Poso Ngaroi), 2.15pm Under 13 Panthers-Sea Eagles at Tupapa (Referee: Taoro Brown), 1.45pm Under 11 Panthers-Sea Eagles at Tupapa (Referee: Taoro Brown); 4.30pm Premiers Bears-Eels at Arorangi (Referee: Nga Takaiti, Lines: Peter Robertson/Dawn Crummer, Bench: Simi Teiotu/Tai Nelio), 3pm Reserves Bears-Eels (Unofficial) at Arorangi (Referee: Simiona Teiotu, Lines: Club Officials), 2.15pm Under 13 Bears-Eels at Arorangi (Referee: Albert Nicholas/Robert Heather), 1.45pm Under 11 Bears-Eels at Arorangi (Referee: Jeff Murray/Simona Aumetua), 1.45pm Under 11 Bears-Eels at Arorangi (Referee: Bishop Bishop/Vaipo Mataora).