Rugby League European Federation
Rugby League European Federation

By Phil Caplan, Date:11/4/14

The RLEF-EU Leadership Devolution Project, which sees 17 RLEF partners working together on an 18-month project, has begun its ‘Cluster 2’ activities in Delft, the Netherlands.

RLEF Coaching Manager Martin Crick and the French Federation’s Thierry Dumaine combined to oversee the training of two new Dutch and four new Belgian coach tutors, all of whom are seeking to pass the qualification by next summer and lead their organisation’s technical development department.

“It has been a great couple of days of rugby league,” said the host Nederlandse Rugby League Bond’s Timo Meinders. “We were very pleased with the drive of the people who did the course. They will spread the sport in the Netherlands and Belgium. The collaboration between the two countries has become very strong. This is a great opportunity for the sport.”

After the tutor training sessions, the candidates participated in a live Level 1 course delivered by NRLB coach tutors Jason Bruygoms and Meinders, who themselves were qualified through the 2012-13 Governance Foundation Project, also backed by the European Union.

Belgian coach-tutor candidate Idriss Tiogum was full of praise for the event. “The way we were introduced [to coach education] was very professional,” he commented. “The course was long and very thorough, extremely interesting and delivered by really experienced coaches. Now I’m ready to coach and grow rugby league.”

His colleague Seif Abdelkefi echoed those sentiments. “It was a rewarding experience. Because of this camp I hope to bring the knowledge that I learned to develop rugby league in Belgium. This is just the beginning of a big adventure.“

The Leadership Devolution Project is a €330.000 investment part-funded by the RLEF, RLIF and the major donor, the EU, which is contributing €195.000. The project covers governance and high quality technical development pathways.

The French-led cluster will continue this weekend with the match officials strand.