50 new coaches

WHILE there's no disputing local rugby league is in a tough fight against encroachment by rival codes, standards of excellence among those charged with guiding young players is on an upward curve.

Country Rugby League Development, with the assistance of ARL Development, last weekend approved the accreditation of 50 new coaches.

All had undertaken certified courses which, depending on levels achieved, qualify them to coach under modified rules (ages 7 to under-12) and international rules (from under-13 to senior grades).

Every coach will now take up a position within the Group 2 structure.

The instruction panel was headed by Graham Boland, CRL coaching and development manager for the North Coast.

“We ensured participants were up to date with skills and techniques and are able to conduct fun, safe, relevant training sessions for junior and senior players,” he said.

“Almost all Group 2 clubs were represented, which may indicate a healthy increase in numbers across the competition.

“Volunteers are crucial to rugby league, as they are in all sports, and it was great to see so many people keen to put up their hand and gain their coaching qualification to help our local juniors become better players.”

Boland believes one major reason for kids to continue playing league is good coaching.

“If the last weekend is anything to go by, the game in this area has a great future thanks to the enthusiasm of the new coaches,” he said.

To continue the promotion of good support staff, another League Safe course was held this week in Nambucca Heads.

League Safe is the minimum requirement needed and is mandatory for those who undertake tasks as modest as entering the field of play as a water carrier, with participants gaining basic first-aid knowledge.

Limited space is left on the Level 1 first-aid officer's course being held in Wauchope on March 26-27 and interested people should contact Liz Hinton at brad.hinton@bigpond.com

All rugby league games require a qualified first-aid officer to be in attendance.

And there will also be a new batch of Level 1 junior referees graduating today from the two-day course offered to students from Bellingen, Orara and Coffs Harbour High schools with Group 2 conducting a further course next week.

In recent years the junior program has produced Adam Williams and Ben Sparks who went on to officiate as referee (Williams) and touch judge at senior grand final level.

Latest graduate, Garth Burley, will gain further experience this season as a first grade touch judge until ready and confident enough to take control of his initial under-18 match.

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