CIRLA want junior focus

Wednesday February 07, 2018 Written by Published in League
Cook Islands Rugby League Association junior development coordinator Taua Benioni runs a clinic with Aitutaki junior players last year. 18020636 Cook Islands Rugby League Association junior development coordinator Taua Benioni runs a clinic with Aitutaki junior players last year. 18020636

A meeting will be held this evening to put together the first ever Cook Islands Rugby League Association (CIRLA) junior grade committee.

 

The move is to bolster the development of rugby league from the grassroots level, starting this season, which kicks off on Friday.

CIRLA competitions coordinator Taua Benioni said the committee would be tasked with identifying areas of development for the junior teams.

He said that over the past couple of years the impact of migration and the lure of other sporting codes had been felt at a junior level, with U17 and U19 teams folding.

Benioni said lack of support from the club administrators in coaching and other areas had also resulted in this decline.

“As we all know for all sports, our youth is our future and for CIRLA, we needed to move our focus toward them. During our premier CIRL Nines tournament, we ran our junior age group U13s competition with the help of Mama Lydia Nga and Jeff Murray as a starting point towards this development,” Benioni said.

“We thank them both and their team of mamas and papas for helping out.”

Benioni said the meeting which would start at 5pm was open to all league supporters who are interested to join in and show their support for the development of the sport in the age group level.

“For the junior grade teams from U17s down to U11s, mini mods will be coordinated by this new committee with support from the main body,” Benioni said.

“Its main objective is to encourage volunteers and increase the numbers as well as run training programmes for anyone wanting to coach and officiate. We hope through this, we will make the game safer for all players, coaches and supporters.”

Benioni confirmed that there would not be any junior and reserve grade matches on Rarotonga this weekend.

On Friday, Avatiu Eels will host Aitutaki Sharks in the opening premier match of the season followed by two matches on Saturday.

Arorangi Bears will host Ngatangiia/Matavera Sea Eagles while Tupapa Panthers will take on Takuvaine Warriors at Victoria Park.

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