By ISAAC LIRI
PAPUA New Guinea Rugby Football League in collaboration with the Australian NRL successfully concluded the first phase of a coaching accreditation course last week.
The course was facilitated by former PNG Kumul and NRL player David Westley with some assistance from PNG Hunters coach Michael Marum.
PNGRFL development manager Toksy Nema said the course has three phases with participation from coaches from the affiliated local leagues throughout the country.
The second phase will be held in May/June and the third will be in September.
The first phase included sessions held in Port Moresby where 31 coaches from the Southern and New Guinea Islands Confederates participated from March 6-8, and the session for coaches in the Northern and Highlands confederates was held in Goroka from March 10-12 that saw a total of 26 coaches attend.
“The main purpose is to build the capacity of coaching, up skill our processes so we they can go and teach the players to lift the level of the game,” Nema said.
He said upon completion of the course, the PNGRFL would be expecting the quality of the game to improve locally. Nema said the idea to run such course was there in the past but never materialised.
He applauded PNGRFL’s new CEO Reatau Rau and Chairman Sandis Tsaka with the Australian NRL in PNG for making the course possible.
Westley said the course was a first of its kind in PNG, and as a former player, he has a testimony of such courses in Australia.
“The course is going to make a huge difference because coaches will be updated on new skills, with the game changing, it is about how you coach and not about what you coach. It’s all about the capacity of the coach.”
Westley said the accreditation for the participating coaches will be endorsed by the NRL and the PNGRFL.
He said those that complete all phases of the course would be assessed in the long term.
Country manager for Australia NRL in PNG Mark Mom said all contents of coaching and refereeing courses under the PNGRFL were from the NRL with little tweaks to suit the game environment in the country.
From the Australian NRL’s perspective in PNG, Mom said their aim was to build the capacity of PNGRFL to increase coach education programmes and ensure coaches acound PNG had proper accreditation.