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Tuesday 8 March 2011 | Published in Regional


Building a positive relationship between police and youth using sports as a tool is the key behind the Blue Light Rugby Programme introduced to a number of schools on the island last week.

Blue Light is a police programme for youth developed in New Zealand and adopted by Cook Islands police.

This week a group of rugby coaches and trainers from New Zealand based sports company New Sports Generation Ltd (NSG) spent three days introducing the Blue Light rugby programme to schools on Rarotonga.

During the coaching sessions, Blue Light programme coordinator constable Alan Rua and Cook Islands Rugby Union chief executive officer Ben Koteka were on hand to observe the course skills from the New Zealand coaches.

Director of NSG Tracy Helleur says that their company supports the Blue Light concept and they saw a great opportunity to spread the Blue Light programme here in the Cook Islands.

“The Blue Light concept that we support is all about reducing crime through building strong community partnerships,” says Helleur.

“We have been involved in community level delivery of sports programmes within our Pacific communities since 2005 and we have witnessed how sporting and cultural projects can improve relations between young Pacific island people and authority figures such as the police, teachers and parents.”