R.L. in
Norway: A Personal view

I grew up watching rugby league. As a young boy, it was the only sport I really paid a lot of attention to, although I was a keen follower of cricket. However, there was something about rugby league which caught my eye. I have been following the sport for almost 14 years now, and I enjoy it just as much as I did when I was younger. The sport has given me a lot of things: excitement, enjoyment, pleasure and satisfaction. It has given me so much, and I feel now that I should try and give something back to the sport which has given me so much. I am in a position to do so, so why not?

I am a 24 year old male currently living and working in Norway. I am currently working at a primary school not so far away from where I live. I don?t teach a specific class; I teach mainly years 5-6-7, the elder group of kids at the primary school. Since I was employed at the school after working at other schools, I have run a special project with years 6 and 7. This is a special project because it is voluntary, no children have to be apart of it if they don?t wish. The project has been about teaching the children about the wonderful sport of rugby league. Since February, I have been teaching these children about the sport. Every week, the children who want to can come to the school library where they can watch rugby league tapes from my own collection. This method of teaching them the sport has proved effective. Learning the sport through watching it has made it easy for the kids to get a feel of what it is all about.

When I started the project, I had no problems convincing the children to come along and watch games. They were really enthusiastic and excited about the whole concept. It was something totally new for them, although they had heard the word ?rugby? before. Although they had heard it, most of them confused it with American football, which I might add is totally different to rugby league. This confusion is no more amongst the children who now understand the sport.
Teaching the children about the sport was, quite simply, easy. I had no problems teaching them the rules. Learning the sport is much easier if you are motivated for learning about it. It took the children just a few weeks to understand the basics of the sport, something which gob-smacked me. I had not thought that they could have learnt and understood the sport so quickly.

After a few weeks, I could see that the number of kids who were coming to the library to watch games was decreasing. I was a bit upset; however, there were still a lot of children coming to watch games. Interest was still high. Through the Last Tackle forum, I got into touch with Tim Karlov, a male from Tasmania who also is very keen on developing the sport. He gave me a few pointers, i.e. who to contact if I wanted to develop the game. He set me up with the ARL, Oztag and the RFL. Without Tim, I don?t think I would have thought about contacting these federations at all. I would like to thank you Tim for setting me up with these federations, and for supporting me throughout this whole development stage.

As interest for RL was high, I thought it might be a good idea to let the children have a feel of what it is like to play the game, not just watch it. I got in touch with these federations, and have so far received some balls and coaching programmes from the RFL. I am greatly grateful for this. I am also awaiting a package from Oztag, where I have been promised tag belts and much more. I don?t want the kids playing tackle just yet; they are too young and inexperienced. With all this equipment, it will be possible for me to teach these kids how to play the game.

From next week on until the summer break, which starts in five weeks, I will be taking the children out and teaching them the basics of the sport. Every child in years 6 and 7 know about this. Again, this is voluntary. However, I have had lots of positive feedback from the children, and the teachers/administration about this idea, so that?s good. With the little amount of weeks remaining, there won?t be time to organise any games for the kids to play in. There will be a lot of time for that next year though.

Well, that?s the state of Norwegian RL at the current moment. It is still in its infancy, but I have big plans for the sport in this country, although I will be focussing on the local region for a while. I am committed to developing the sport in this country, and I hope I will succeed. Let's see what happens!

More info >> www.freewebs.com/norwayrl