Continuing to focus on Rugby League at the grassroots level, a team of volunteer AMNRL Development Officers have been assembled with the intent of expanding and promoting the game in the USA particularly at the collegiate level.
The State Development Officers will not only be responsible for promoting the game to colleges in their area, but will also be asked to report on player statistics and upcoming events, while continuously identifying players for an emerging Tomahawks program.
Creating and developing relationships between collegiate and club programs will also be a task for the Officers.
Their strategic appointment is not an uncommon trend in Rugby League communities across the globe. Established programs typically have full-time Development Officers who are responsible for the education and development of Rugby League programs in their area. While funding these positions in the short term may not be a viable option for the AMNRL, if funding does become available in the future the organizational structure will already be in place.
More importantly though, the Officers have requested to take on these roles because they have a vested interest in the game and are intrinsically motivated to be involved in Rugby League.
Teddy Grabowski, newly appointed Development Officer for New York City, explains to WeAreRugby; “Rugby League is fun, fast, exciting and requires fitness and skill; and the great thing is anyone can learn how to play.
“While the physical benefits of Rugby League are well documented, it’s the transferrable skills that make it an attractive option for college students.
“Rugby League teaches discipline, it teaches players to work together to achieve a positive outcome and it also requires people to think. All of these skills can be transferred into everyday life.”
Among the appointments are current and former AMNRL players, collegiate Rugby Union coaches and players, along with an international contingency from Australia and England who bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience in the education and development of Rugby League programs.
Included in the latter is Mike Brogan, a coach from the UK who has worked closely with the RFL and St Helens RLFC and also has experience with the England U/19’s college student’s team.
Anyone interested in participating in Rugby League programs, particularly at the collegiate level, should contact the Development Officer in your state.
Don’t see your state? Interested in becoming involved? Email AMNRL Collegiate Development Manager Damian Flint at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.