NorthTec to nurture local rugby league talent

By Cameron Leslie

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Rugby League Northland and NorthTec are joining forces in 2013 to help the development of local players on and off the field.

The 2013 Rugby League Academy will give successful applicants the opportunity to have coaching exchanges with The Warrior's coaching staff, play matches against other academies and attend specialist rugby league training three mornings and two afternoons a week.

With 2013 being its first year, this is the opportunity for Northlanders with a passion for rugby league to tie professional training to their tertiary study.

There are two options available for potential academy members: option one is a youth guarantee course where students will work towards completing a Certificate in Vocational Studies (Sport and Recreation). This option is available only to learners aged between 16 and 17, have not achieved NCEA level one, and have not previously studied in tertiary education. As part of this option learners will be provided with a training kit and a free membership to Kensington Fitness.

The second option for applicants is to be part of the academy while studying any other NorthTec course, but learners will need to pay $500 for training gear and Kensington Fitness membership.

The academy has stemmed from Rugby League Northland and NorthTec's association the NorthTec Adam Blair Trophy - which sees 11 local high schools compete for the trophy in a rugby league tournament.

Rugby League Northland general manager Alex Smits said the trophy provided an opportunity for Northland to increase on its small profile, with only six club rugby league teams belonging to the North.

"The Adam Blair Trophy is a great way to introduce rugby league to new players, and from the Rugby League Northland point of view, it is instrumental in getting new players interested in the sport," Mr Smits said.

Although the academy is focused mainly on Rugby League, Rugby Union players can also apply.

Applicants for the Rugby League Academy must be playing for a rugby league or rugby union club in the 2012 season, and it is expected that there will be around 15 successful applicants.

For more information visit the NorthTec website www.northtec.ac.nz/RLA.

- Northern Advocate

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