Date: 19/6/17

The RLEF has concluded a week-long technical seminar in Moscow which has resulted in the qualification of six level 1 coaches, five level 1 match officials and, significantly, three level 1 coach educators and the provisional qualification of one level 1 match official educator; providing the Russian Association of Rugby League Clubs (ARLK) with a degree of self-sufficiency.

RLEF match official tutor, Phil Smith, said from the Russian capital: “Providing match official education for the five Moscow attendees will hopefully help bring about an upsurge in standards to the domestic game. Local educator Andrey Zhukov is an enthusiastic student of the game and along with his colleagues were keen to learn and willing to put in the hours to further their knowledge.

“Despite everyone attending all four full days of the course, they asked for more tuition and voluntarily turned up for an extra morning session on ‘Russia Day’, a national public holiday. Russia’s recent past has been a series of ups and downs but Andrey, with the support and resources of the federation, has the capability to move the match officials forward.”

Zhukov, a former international, confirmed: “The course was really special. After it finished we agreed that we needed more education! It allowed us to get to know officials from different teams and I hope that it will be continued.”

His wish is set to be realised as, following the evaluation of the seminar he, along with coach educators Denis Korolev and Dmitrii Polovykh, have been invited to attend level 2 courses in Serbia, in June and July. A third Russian coach educator, Kiril Borisov, will be qualified upon submission of the mandatory coursework.

Martin Crick, RLEF coach manager, was similarly encouraged: “A sleeping giant stirs. Over 30 coaches, match officials and players attended our seminars in Moscow. The enthusiasm, energy and commitment of the participants augurs well for the future development of rugby league here. It was a successful week and now ARLK needs to implement a realistic development plan.”

Dmitrii Polovykh added: “I really got a lot out of this programme. I learned so much about how to coach, psychology and to give constructive feedback to coaches and players. I’m really pleased to have qualified as an educator and am looking forward to proceeding along the pathway.”

All Russian technical participants will progress through the RLEF’s ground-breaking technical portal which is fully functional in Russian, the first time in the sport’s history that such a commitment has been made to support Russian-speaking nations.