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NRL in Tassie’s backyard

Collinsvale Primary School

Image: Collinsvale Primary School after their Backyard League Sporting Schools session.

The National Rugby League launched its Sporting Schools Backyard League program in Tasmania recently at Collinsvale Primary School near Hobart.

With the exception of watching a few games on TV, all of the students were newcomers to the code and the Backyard League program proved a big hit from kick off. 

The program equips students and teachers with the tools to play a non-contact version of rugby league in any setting while delivering important education, health and welfare messages that are linked to the new Health & Physical Education Australian Curriculum. Across the ten sessions, students participated in rugby league activities and modified games, and were involved in team work and decision making drills.

The Kindergarten to Year 2 students began their NRL initiation by reading the Rugby League …. 1, 2, 3 book, which uses story-based learning to assist young students to grasp the concept and skills of rugby league. 

The students got the opportunity to try their tackling technique using the tackle bags the coach Jason brought with him to a session. Giveaways at the end of the program included the Rugby League …. 1, 2, 3 book and a NRL Steeden football, which meant that students could keep practising their rugby league skills after the program had finished. 

Rhonda Turner, who coordinated the program at the school, said the response from both students and teachers was very positive.

“Jason (the coach) was amazing with the students, and our staff appreciated his behaviour management which made the program all the more enjoyable. We would certainly look at booking again for next year,” Ms Turner said. 

Jason said he was pleased to introduce the students to rugby league, and to watch their skills develop over the 10 weeks. 

“The teachers were fantastic too and all jumped in and participated,” Jason added. 

Sporting Schools is a $160 million Australian Government initiative to get more children playing more sport, before, during and after school. Want to run a Backyard League program at your school? Check out all the details on the National Rugby League page.