Rugby League European Federation
Rugby League European Federation

By Phil Caplan, Date: 16/4/14

The Rugby League European Federation’s EU-backed Leadership Devolution Project, which commenced in Czech Republic in March, has held further sessions in three countries involving ten nations.

Ireland, the Netherlands and Scotland hosted a total of seven project partner countries in a series of governance, coaching and match officiating seminars.

In Dublin, Rugby League Ireland and the Irish Sports Council welcomed the national governing bodies of Italy (FIRL), Greece (HFRL) and Hungary (HRLF). Edoardo Pescucci of FIRL said, “I would like to thank the RLEF and RLI for the great hospitality and the fantastic opportunity to see how things are done in Ireland and other countries. It was great to meet delegates from other nations who are facing challenges similar to ours to develop the game, it was also an occasion to discuss good governance practices relevant to my field of study and my future career.”

In the Netherlands, RLEF Match Official Manager Tom Mather and his colleague Thierry Alibert, France’s representative in the RLEF match official squad and the head of the French Federation’s referees, led a successful tutor activity with the Dutch and Belgians.

Mather commented, “It was a fantastic weekend, enabling three brand new tutors who led six enthusiastic referees through the course. With this experience, and the continued support of the French federation as part of this cluster, the future looks very promising for officials in both the Netherlands and Belgium.”

Alibert was equally encouraged. “I was impressed by the new guys; they were very efficient, focused all the time and they want to learn more and more.”

In Edinburgh, the RLEF’s Martin Crick together Polish, Scottish and Latvian delegates attended a technical-governance seminar at the University of Edinburgh’s state-of-the-art facility.

“Together with the Scottish coaches they participated enthusiastically in three days of on and off-field activities, including the completion of the RLEF Level 1 coaching award,” said Crick. “They departed determined to continue the growth of rugby league in their own countries and Europe-wide.”

The LDP continues until summer 2015 and is supported by a record €195.000 investment from the EU, with a further €135.000 from the RLIF and RLEF.