By Chris Newman, Date: 10/8/12
Rugby League Samoa is proud to announce the launch of the Toa in the Community Project.
The Project is an exciting opportunity for Rugby League Samoa, together with its players, to give back to the community that has embraced the developing game of rugby league in Samoa.
Players from the Toa Residents squad were initiated during the NSW CRL test series, with the commencement of school-based programs.
Over 8 days, a selection of players visited 12 primary schools across the island for Toa in The Community sessions including talks, workshops and play.
Rugby League Samoa approached the schools with the offer that players were to be under direction of the principal and would carry out the tasks required by the school. Tasks differed from school to school and ranged from games of touch football, players reading stories to the children and simply just having lunch and a chat with the young students.
The Project is designed to not only provide the opportunity for Rugby League Samoa to give back to the community, but to also enforce the position of players as role models in the community. Day-to-day contact with students at schools as well as young players as ballboys in camp has enhanced the leadership role and responsibility our players have to the future of Samoa.
It is hoped that children participating in the program will have aspirations of one day being like their role models and represent their nation playing for Toa Samoa.
The highlight of the program was a visit by Toa Residents to Robert Louis Stevenson Primary School. A full school assembly was held in the Toa Residents honour where the schoolâ€™s rugby league team along with the visiting players performed the Siva Tau for the whole school.
To encourage interest in the game of rugby league, Rugby League Samoa organised a special ticket deal for schools to the Grand Final of the Toa Academy Shield games and Toa Residents v NSW CRL Country Firsts Tests. Schools were sold tickets for $1 each, which they then sold to students for $2. The extra money raised will be used to purchase jerseys for next year’s schoolboys tournament.
Rugby League Samoa organised the ticketing special to give every child the opportunity to personally experience the fun and excitement of a live game of rugby league.
The Toa in the Community Project is a big step for Rugby League Samoa in its aim to develop rugby league at a grass roots level. With success in the early stages of the program, it is just another sign of exciting things to come for the developing game of Samoan rugby league.