Rugby: Junior coaches to be vetted

Brent Anderson
Brent Anderson
All coaches will be vetted by police before they take junior rugby teams as part of a new policy by the New Zealand Rugby Union.

The policy is part of an initiative by the New Zealand Rugby Union to boost numbers in community rugby.

Part of that push was to make sure parents and children felt completely safe when their junior team was playing.

All coaches would have to fill out vetting forms at Small Blacks training courses, which are being held in Otago over the next couple of months.

An attempt was made to put a vetting system in place about three years ago, but was abandoned, as it took too long to work through.

But the NZRU and police were confident the system had now been streamlined and it should take about a week for the process to be completed.

People with serious criminal convictions would be barred from coaching.

NZRU general manager of community rugby Brent Anderson said the new vetting system was not a reaction to any single incident and there was no evidence to suggest rugby had a problem with unsuitablecoaches.

The initiative also included an attempt to get more teenagers playing the game and keep players in the game.

Otago Rugby Football Union general manager Richard Kinley said there were 317 junior coaches for under-12 teams and below in Otago last season.

Playing numbers were relatively static in the junior numbers in Otago, but had increased in the senior grades.

Kinley said the move by the NZRU was one which, in all likelihood, would be adopted by other sports.


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