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Homework centres kick off

A new rugby league-driven programme gets underway this week with the goal of better supporting local youth and promoting off-field achievement.

Auckland Rugby League-supported homework centres have been set up at the New Lynn, Papakura, Richmond, Marist and Howick rugby league clubs, and are led by trained facilitators and open to 13-17-year-olds.

Homework centre consultant Liz Ah Kuoi, who has been voluntarily running the programme at the Richmond Rugby League Club for the last three years, said the centres were about taking a proactive step to support the success of young people.

“They provide a safe place for teenagers to come and do their homework between the time school finishes and the time league training starts, and offer an environment which promotes academic and off-field development of our kids,” Ah Kuoi said.

“It’s giving them somewhere they can have something to eat, do their school work, and have help when they need it, and in the end it frees up time after training to spend with family.

“In many cases it also removes a huge amount of stress from parents, knowing their kids are looked after between 3.30pm and 5.00pm on training days.”

Auckland Rugby League general manager Greg Whaiapu said rugby league clubs already serve as a community hub, and the homework centres form another part of that.

“We recognise the pressures that many young people face between school and sport, and by opening our doors and offering a safe and friendly environment, we hope to take some of that away and encourage off-field success and wellbeing,” Whaiapu said.

“It’s one thing to be helping young people become better rugby league players, but through our clubs we also want to be able to better equip them for life outside of the game.”

In addition to the homework centres, the Auckland Rugby League has also formed a new partnership with the NZMA, which will see a number of trade scholarship opportunities created for local league players aged 16-40.


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