In the weeks preceding the Oceania Rugby Cup staff and coaches from the Cook Islands Rugby Union and their Clubs participated in training and certification for Get into Rugby (GiR) The World Rugby programme, which was developed as a legacy initiative in conjunction with Rugby re-joining the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016
This was the first time a GIR training has been conducted in the Cook Islands. The training consisted of both practical and theory based session covering the 8 modules of GIR. This includes practical coaching sessions, reporting of program updates, rugby ready and future planning for GIR in the Cook Islands.
With 11 new GIR accredited coaches in the Cook Islands Oceania Rugby GIR Coordinator Tihrani Uluinakauvadra said “it was really pleasing to see the interest from the local volunteers for Get into Rugby. To see the growth of understanding of the participants over the course of the training of what GIR is and how this programme is integral to the future development of Rugby in the Cook Islands. The dedication of parents and club volunteers is essential to the legacy of this week’s training.”
After the course coaches then went back and introduced Get into Rugby to the to their clubs holding training sessions with the kids in preparation for the GiR Festival which was the curtain raiser to the 2017 Oceania Rugby Cup featuring the Cook Islands and Tahiti. The festival will saw over 8 teams and 80 children from the local Rarotonga area brave the wet, cold and windy conditions, to participate in the round robin format
Edwin Teraitua, who has 2 young children was inspired by his 9-year-old son to take up coaching at his local club, attended the training. When asked about his opinion of the GIR training and program he said “To be honest it has been an eye opener for me, I wish this programme was around during my junior days. Now, we can establish a better process of developing our juniors with the help of the GiR programme.”
He further added “things are pretty clear now… Development first, winning second!