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Friday 23 March, 2018
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Youth Development Program
The development of rugby is multi-phased as I approach the completion of year two of my three year contract as full time Rugby Development Officer for Trinidad & Tobago, I am beginning to appreciate this more and more. My arrival from Scotland, (thanks to the funding of the International Rugby Board), saw me inherit an eight school rugby programme in the Port of Spain area. This has increased to a twenty-six schools set-up stretching through the length and breadth of Trinidad. Tobago is scheduled to come on board in 2000.

The schools structure can be a straight forward one. However, to develop better skills at an earlier age, Assistant Development Officer, Verne Ross, and myself chose a different approach. Introducing TAG RUGBY (non-contact rugby) to Primary School Teachers via Workshops, Summer Outreach Programmes for First and Second Year Secondary School Students.

The first barrier to playing rugby, the concerns of parents and students that rugby is a rough and dangerous game was removed. Instead through Tag Rugby people saw rugby as a controlled, disciplined and enjoyable activity.

Indeed we entertained 1500 students for the first time in 1998 and 1900 new ones in 1999. The knock on effect of this in the coming years will be significant.

The impact of girls playing Tag rugby has already reaped dividends as there is now six Girls Schools with Tag rugby teams and increased numbers attending the womens rugby training sessions. Under 19 rugby has also enjoyed considerable growth since the introduction of the U-19 league two seasons ago. Further progress came in 1999 with the Trinidad & Tobago Under 19 team making a historic and successful tour to Barbados where two matches were played against a Barbados “Youth?team. We look forward very shortly to earning a place in the Annual IRB/FIRA Under 19 World Championships.

My experience in this beautiful twin island republic to date has given me the confidence to boldly proclaim that rugby is a growing sport in Trinidad & Tobago - Look out world, the best is yet to come.
Schools Playing Rugby In Trinidad and Tobago
St. Anthony’s College, St. James Secondary, Fatima College, Mucurapo Junior School, St. Mary’s College, Diego Martin Secondary, Maple Leaf, Belmont Secondary, International School, Malick Senior Secondary.

San Juan Secondary, Holy Cross College, Sangre Grande Jnr. Sec., St. Joseph College, St. George, B & G Arima Senior, Arranguez Jnr. Sec., El. Dorado Senior, El Dorado Sec., Mount Hope, Toco Composite, Barataria Jnr. Sec., Curepe Mayaro Composite, North Eastern College.

Couva Jnr. Sec., Couva Govt. Sec, Charipachima Jnr. Sec, Chaguanas Jnr. Sec, Presentation College.

San Fernando Govt. Sec., St. Benedicts College, Pleasantville Sen. Comprehensive, Marabella Snr., Presentation College.

Maple Leaf, Diego Martin Secondary, Holy Name Convent,

St. George’s, St. Augustine Girls.

Holy Faith Convent
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