Date: 13/3/16

A ground-breaking ‘Training and Education Portal’ project, which will overhaul and improve rugby league’s technical dissemination across Europe, is set to launched in the Czech Republic on Thursday when delegates from England, Sweden and Italy join their hosts for the first of 48 activities spread over three years.

The TEP is co-funded by the RLIF and the EU’s Erasmus+ programme, which granted €466.000 to support the Rugby League European Federation’s plans.

St Helens will support the match officials programme with Leeds Rhinos doing likewise regarding coach education.

RLEF match officials manger, Tom Mather, commented: “This is a unique opportunity to leave a development legacy. It is intended to open up pathways into the professional game which will bring lasting improvements to the sport across Europe.”

The new RLEF education department will expand the qualifications available to participants from four to 10 and introduce a Level 2 coach and educator programme.

Martin Crick, coach education manager for the RLEF, added: “The overall aim of the project is to increase the number of qualified coaches and to improve the quality of coach education in the member nations.

“The new coach education portal and the partnership with Leeds Rhinos will provide access to high quality coaching resources. By the end of the project the RLEF will have a group of highly trained coach educators. As always the aim is to increase participation and this can only happen if we have more coaches.”

The technical portal, which will be launched in late March, is a standalone website that will act as a repository for course materials, a hub for practitioners to lodge coursework, share their experiences from expanding the sport in Europe and will become an increasingly populated resource for coaches and match officials at every level.

One of the key aspects of the project is the added emphasis on quality control and assessment. Participants will interact with mentors to ensure their work is of the highest possible standard.