After a successful first year, the Netherlands Rugby League Bond (NRLB) has begun the second year of their rugby league school programme.
It is led my national head coach Kane Krlic and consists of delivering introductory sessions to participants aged between 7-18, while also providing resources and training opportunities for teachers. Last year, the NRLB worked with just under 500 students and have the targeted an ambitious 1000 for this academic session.
“In the first year, it was very much a pilot. We needed to see how the students, teachers and parents responded to the sport,” said Krlic. “After receiving high praise, we quickly realized the need to fully roll out the programme.
“Most of our work is targeted in areas which are completely new to rugby. In Harderwijk, for example, where the Gemeente (council) and local schools have been very supportive of our development, due to the fantastic response we have set up a new team within the area, the Harderwijk Dolphins RLFC.”
Krlic continued, “We have the objective that the club will be made up of players who have been introduced through this programme and that is a key factor which will allow us to grow and create a stronger sport within the Netherlands.”
One of the schools within Harderwijk, Christelijk College Nassau-Veluwe, have been impressed with their student’s response. Head of Physical Education, Hilbert Docter explained: “If I am being honest, we weren’t sure what to expect when we agreed to have rugby league on the curriculum. None of our students had ever played before but the response has been fantastic.
“Kane has been working with both male and female students, aged from 12 to 18. Not only are they learning new skills, more importantly, they are enjoying playing something different. We hope some of our students go on to play for the Harderwijk Dolphins RLFC and who knows, maybe one day, they’ll represent the national team.”