Date: 15/3/15

RLEF Chief Coach Educator Martin Crick has just returned from a visit to Lebanon.

There he completed the training of one coach educator and trained up another two as the Lebanese Rugby League Federation continues its mission to rebuild its technical standards following a tumultuous couple of years in the country.

“I spent an instructive and productive 10 days in Lebanon, running two Level 1 courses, attending training sessions, schools matches and university games,” Crick commented, who was on his third trip to the Middle-East nation.

“Whilst the amount of activity is encouraging, the reality is that it all depends upon the work of a couple people.

“Lebanon needs more experienced coaches to develop the skill levels and game awareness of the players, and more coaches to introduce the sport to schools.

Crick added, “There is tremendous potential in Lebanon, but the sport there needs more support from the game as a whole.”

Crick observed a Level 1 course at the American University of Beirut over his first weekend, after which Nayef Abisaid received his tutor qualification and LRLF north development officer Nader Mgheit and Palestine RL chief Rabieh El Masri supported Abisaid. In addition, four new school teachers received their qualification.

A second course, held at Lebanese International University in Tripoli, attracted 16 participants and resulted in El Masri receiving his qualification. Now a French citizen he will be able to deliver a course in Palestine.

Crick’s trip coincided with the visit of Tarik Houchar from Australia, national team coach Darren Maroon’s assistant.

Houchar delivered a more performance-orientated session with assembled coaches at AUB.

“After the course I realised how far some of the coaches have come,” he noted.

“It took me by surprise. We need to work on the basics of the game, though.

“Players are behind in skill level and basic core skills such as catch, pass, carry and tackle technique, this is where I believe the coaches have their challenges ahead.”