The Rugby Youth Foundation (RYF) is a Charity that aims to build capacity in disadvantaged communities in Australia, by providing children and young people with leadership training and sustainable physical activity and health programs. This is achieved by providing formal leadership training and personal development for local youths empowering them as coaches, coordinators and mentors who then implementing weekly activities for local children.
RYF creates extensive partnerships with local schools, community groups, sporting bodies, businesses and government agencies with the goal of facilitating further education, employment and localised program management to create a sustainable program within targeted communities.
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Rugby Youth Foundation
Leadership Camp 2014
The camp focused on developing leadership skills and connecting kids from Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High School, Doonside Technology High School, Lurnea High School and Chifley College Shalvey Campus. To highlight the diversity of Western Sydney, all of the attendees were either born overseas or had a parent born overseas, such as Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Philippines, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, and Cook Islands. For many, this was the first time they had met and worked with people of their own age but from another area of Sydney.
The camp was full of programs such as kayaking, rope courses, and leadership and goal-setting workshops; there was even an impromptu game of touch rugby against an U15s team from Queensland.
Once the camp came to an end, the young leaders were able to sum up their experiences. Here is what some of them had to say:
- "Really blessed to have such loyal and trust worthy friends and mentors in my life. The last two days helped me think about the future and have enabled me to be aware about my goals and achievements in life. Thanks to the mentors that came and helped us."
- "Sitting on the bus with the other schools was the most awkward I've ever felt. I thought they might hate us. But now I think they're just like old friends. I wish we could hang out a bit longer."
- "I hope you guys enjoy the last few hours with the friends you have made throughout this camp. I hope you have gained something from this experience, whether it was something that you have noticed about yourself or something you gained from your peers. I hope you leave this camp with more self belief and just overall knowledge on the potential that you guys have to influence others around you."
The 33 youths have already began planning tasks and activities to develop leadership skills and community cohesion, and will be running a Rugby Union 7s Gala Day for local primary schools in November.
On Friday 8th August 35 Youth Leaders from the Rugby Youth Foundation programs at Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High School, Chifley College - Shalvey and Lurnea High School attended the Bush2Bledisloe event at the Mondo Penrith.
The initiative was designed to bring Australian national team closer to the community and give a unique opportunity to meet the Wallabies players, take some pictures, get autographs and a chance to see and hold-up the prestigious Bledisloe Cup.
As well as meeting their peers from the other programs the youth leaders spent their time talking with the players and asking them questions on a wide range of topics from pre match nerves, can we beat the All Blacks and more than one proposal of marriage.
With a wide range of rugby experience with the group, from regular player to never having heard of the game 2 months ago, the main topic of conversation was how this was an event never to forget and how they were looking forward to watching the first Bledisloe game on 16th August.
A big thank you must go to the program coordinators, Moala Polota-Nau, Logo Filipo and Tim Cobon, and the 35 Youth Leaders for making the event such a success and positive promotion of the Rugby Youth Foundation.
Term 1 2014 was a time for new opportunities for the Rugby Youth Foundation. The programs Granville South Creative and Performing High School and Doonside Technology High School have been renewed with 30 new Youth Leaders becoming involved as coaches and mentors.
Drawn from Year 10 the new coaches at Granville and Doonside have big shoes to fill following the graduation of many longstanding coaches, some of whom have been involved with the program for over 5 years.
However, they have begun their Rugby Youth journey in positive fashion and are already demonstrating their new coaching and leadership skills within their sessions. With additional training to be delivered by the Australian Rugby Union the quality of coaching is sure to rise even higher over the coming months.
Returning for their second year the Youth Leaders from Chifley College - Shalvey Campus have shown a renewed dedication to the program and have become increasingly confident in their abilities and are starting to take ownership of the planning, preparation and delivery of the program at Noumea Public School. The staff at Noumea Public are consistently impressed with the quality of the coaching on display and have been known to borrow some ideas from some of their ex-pupils!
Harmony Day 2014 was a particular highlight at Noumea Public School as the Youth Leaders contributed to the celebrations by describing their own cultural backgrounds and what it meant to them and how they want to contribute to a diverse community.
In the final development of Term 1 2014, our forth program at Lurnea High School in South West Sydney has been planned, primed and is ready for launch in Term 2 2014. 20 new Youth Leaders have been selected and are in position to launch into their new program and coach all of the pupils in Year 7 in the skills, ethos and spirit of Rugby Union.
Rugby Youth Foundation Ambassador, Tony Hay, has been awarded an OAM "for service to local government, and to the community". His role of RYF ambassador is acknowledged in the notation as he received his award. Congratulations to Tony and many thanks for your support for Rugby Youth Foundation over the years.
Tony joins fellow RYF Ambassador Peter Fenton AOM, who had the award bestowed upon him in 2012 Australia Day awards.
Rugby Youth Foundation joined forces with NRL One Community, Football United, UniSport, Australia Pararoos, Monash University, United Youth Media and Auburn Tigers AFL to make up the Australian Delegation at the 2013 Pacific Youth and Sports Conference in Noumea, New Caledonia.
RYF co-ordinators Joe Tau, Logo Filipo and Moala Polota Nau were joined by youth leaders Alex Gorgees, AJ Loau and Simaima Taufa. Over 800 youth from across the Pacific also descended upon Noumea, ready to share ideas and stories in a series of workshops, plenary sessions and practical activities.
The week was punctuated with a visit to the Australian Consulate-General in Noumea, New Caledonia as well as a trip to Amedee Island for snorkelling, rest and recuperation and a late night/early morning sports match with other delegations.
As the hectic week came to a close, delegates were able to reflect on the discussions; how to include people with disabilities in sport, how to use sport for education and health, how to measure social change. With an newly inspired cohort of passionate youth, we can look forward to some real outcomes from the conference, both in Australia and across the Pacific.
Doonside Rugby in the Park co-ordinator, Joe Tau, said "attending the Pacific Youth and Sports Conference in New Caledonia was a life moving experience. I have become a champion because I surrounded myself with champions. Together we will move mountains for others to see what's on the other side."
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