Supporting children’s development through rugby league

Prime Minister Julia Gillard today launched a rugby league program in Papua New Guinean schools that will encourage healthy lifestyles for 50,000 children, while boosting their physical, social, reading and maths skills.

The PNG Rugby League in Schools Pilot Program will support 50,000 Papua New Guinean boys and girls to participate in rugby league in 80 primary schools across three provinces.

The Australian Sports Commission and the National Rugby League will deliver the program in partnership with the PNG National Department of Education and PNG Rugby Football League. The program will be funded by AusAID through Australia’s aid program in PNG.

The three-year program commencing in 2013 will deliver up to 100 resource kits and train up to 500 teachers.

It will include clinics to develop physical skills and teamwork as well as books and other learning materials to help with maths and reading.

The program will go well beyond sport, promoting team building, fair play and healthy lifestyles.