With the delegates having returned to their nations following a recent, intensive four day match officials and coaching courses in Nairobi, the feedback has been highly encouraging. A total of 19 coaches and 14 Match Officials from seven nations - South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon, Burundi, DR Congo and Ghana - completed the Level 1 and pre-course Level 2 qualifications, delivered by South African and European Rugby League educators, together with Ghana and Cameroon.
The participants from DR Congo travelled five days each way to attend. Beckham Ruguma, Congo Rugby League head coach, commented: “All that I live for is rugby league, our bus journey was worth it. I have gained so much experience and knowledge about the sport, now I can’t wait to share this and help my country develop and reach the same standards of some of the other nations in the MEA region. We are eager to put this into practice and develop our domestic competition.”
Cameroon head coach, Khalil Nyoja, noted: “I was really amazed to see the number of coaches from all the countries represented, we have been eager to see what others around the developing nations of rugby league do, and we were not disappointed. Cameroon Rugby League has started training already with this extra knowledge. My mind has been opened to the possibilities of how we can best roll out these programmes. Rugby league is made for our country.”
One of the organisers of the courses, Kenya Rugby League Federation director, John Mbai, said: “It was a wonderful experience. one that we are keen on having again. As for our coaches and referees the feedback is a positive one, they got lots of greater understanding of rugby league and it also gave them a clear indication of what they need to do going forward to improve our standards in both areas. We now need to take advantage of the momentum to maximise our development and preparations for next season.”