AFL New Zealand has partnered with the Mangere East Hawks Rugby League Club to provide its junior participants with the AFL youth programme in the off season.
AFL New Zealand created its Youth Programme for new players to participate in the sport of AFL.
It has a focus on improving athletes’ skills and fitness within a fun environment. This is achieved through a training, game and development programme that highlights the necessary requirements throughout the pathway.
Beginning on January 23rd, each weekly session includes a combination of skill development – kicking, catching, passing and bouncing – game play and personal development. This combination will lead to a number of opportunities for participants including AFL New Zealand Academy selection, New Zealand representation, National Combine selection, access to talent scouts and AFL International Scholarships.
The successful programme at Walter Massey Park has a been a roaring success, attracting a number of new participants to the sport, with over a third of participants female and 84% with Maori or Pacific background.
The clubs General Manager, Tasha Tasmania is excited about the partnership and see’s a number of benefits for her community.
“Mangere East Rugby League is proud to partner with AFL, it’s a an opportunity for our youth to learn how to play AFL and builds on key development components of Rugby League. The timing is perfect and will slide in with our coaching and development programs.”
Participant Zedekiah Vea has been learning new skills along with keeping fit.
“It’s an awesome opportunity to learn another sport during the off season and prepare for the upcoming League season. Looking forward to learning new skills from the AFL trainers.”
The Youth programme concludes on March 6th.