Rugby May Be Included in School's Curriculum
31 October, 2012
The Fiji Rugby Union has been having discussions with the Ministry of Education on introducing Rugby in the secondary school’s curriculum as an Optional subject from next year. Navuso Secondary School’s Vice Principal Maika Saqatanaivalu brought up the idea two years ago and ever since then has been working closely with the FRU and the Ministry of Education to include Rugby Basics in the school’s curriculum which could see high school students being taught and trained the appropriate skills that are needed and on demand in the industrial job market.
According to FRU’s Rugby Development Manager Sale Sorovaki, the introduction of Rugby into the secondary school curriculum is important to ensure the acquisition of the fundamental skills needed in the game of rugby.
“This will definitely enhance our very footings and base to make us more competitive in the world stages against higher rugby powers” he said.
He added that there is now a shift in view that rugby is no longer a leisure sports activity but is certainly operating as an industry that requires multitudes of professional skills for players in the field of play, game officials, coaches and trainers, physiotherapists and game administrators.
“What we have seen is that there are many professions involved in rugby apart from being a professional rugby player and that is basically what the introduction of this subject is about.”
“That is why it is important that all personnel involved are up skilled to be able to perform specific tasks professionally in any game of rugby whether for players or all those involved in the preparation of the team as administrators, trainers, coaches, medical personnel and counsellors.”
Should the curriculum be approved by the Ministry of Education, Sorovaki says that they plan to start with pilot programs in secondary schools that currently have rugby academies.
“We want to start with the schools that have their rugby academies namely, Lelean Memorial School, Marist Brothers High and a few others to gauge how successful the program is before introducing it to the other schools.”
He says that teachers who will be conducting these classes would need to be accredited with IRB certification and standard on Coaching, Strength and Conditioning, Game Officiating and other components in order to be qualified to teach the curriculum.
It is no secret that rugby is a big industry that attracts very high returns to individuals and to the national economy.
Some of our local players have gone on to become professionals earning as much as $5000 a month to being valued at a million dollars just like robust wing Rupeni Caucaunibuca once did.
The introduction of the rugby curriculum would also mean that not only will our rugby players be in demand overseas but also our rugby professionals. This would mean opening up more opportunities for those that aren’t skilled or talented in other fields of employment which would help ease the social problem of unemployment.
Sorovaki further explained that the rugby curriculum will cover all aspects of rugby which are The Basic Skills of Rugby, Game Officiating and Laws of the Game, Physical Fitness and Conditioning, Rugby Injury and Medicine and Rugby Administration and Player Management.
Research has shown that that in the UK they start teaching rugby to their children in the Nursery Schools, where they have specially trained staff who deliver a nursery specific rugby programme which develops fundamental physical skills. This is a joint initiative run by the schools and the Scottish Rugby Union.
This Sorovaki says is where we want to be in terms of developing the sport physically and mentally to be on par with the bigger rugby playing nations.
“The Rugby Basics subject will be an “Optional Subject” where students may decide whether to include it into his or her five subjects.”
“The students will be able to line up their academic subject combinations with four of their subjects and rugby would be their fifth. The Rugby Basics subject would also appreciate the same status as other FSLC subjects as Agricultural Science, Wood Technology, Technical Drawing and even Mathematics.”
Should the Ministry of Education approve the Rugby Basics curriculum, it will be offered to Forms 5 and 6 students and will also be included in the FSLC examinations.