Talemo Waqa appointed Oceania Regional Training Coordinator
The International Rugby Board has today announced that Talemo Waqa has been appointed the new Regional Training Coordinator for Oceania on a two-year consultancy.
Waqa, who hails from Buca Village in Fiji and a teacher by trade - and most recently High Performance Manager at the Fiji Rugby Union - takes over from Lee Smith and will commence in the role at the end of August.
Waqa will be responsible for managing the IRB’s Regional Training and Education Support program which runs Coaching, Match Official and Strength & conditioning Education programs throughout the twelve IRB Member Unions in Oceania.
Waqa, who holds a Masters Degree in Education, is excited to be joining the IRB regional team. “I am very delighted to contribute to the training and education of the Rugby Family in the FORU (Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions) Region through the IRB courses across all areas.”
"I am hopeful that the Pacific Island Member Unions will assist and cooperate with me in the running of IRB courses in the Oceania Region so that it becomes the leading region- not only in terms of training but also in execution - both in Sevens and Fifteens."
The IRB invests over AUD7million annually in the Oceania Region in areas including High Performance, Development, Competitions, Governance & Administration and Training & Education. Waqa will work closely with the IRB Staff in the Oceania region to ensure the education needs of Member Unions reflect both the strategic plans of its Member Unions as well as the IRB’s Global vision for Education.
IRB General Manager, Oceania, William Glenwright, said that effective Training and Education programs were the foundation of growth for Rugby in the region “If our significant investment in Rugby is going to be sustainable then we have to ensure that everyone in the region has access to appropriate training and education. The IRB’s Training & Education program is a world leader in providing education for people at all levels – be they aspiring career coaches; mums & dads wanting to learn the basics of refereeing; or players preparing for life after rugby by becoming qualified Strength & Conditioning coaches”.
IRB Training and Education Manager, Mark Harrington, said the IRB owed a great debt of gratitude to Lee Smith who is finishing with the IRB. “Lee has been at the forefront of technical developments within the Game since the momentous decision of the IRB to open the Game in 1995 and has been a passionate advocate for the growth of Rugby in the Pacific Islands in particular where he is held in such high regard. He has laid a great foundation of education initiatives in the Oceania Region and Talemo has big shoes to fill.”