NRL WA identified an opportunity to support Bunbury Regional Prison in the delivery of a League Tag competition. Their level of commitment has led to unprecedented engagement for the program with 40+ players participating across 4 teams. This has enabled the prison to form a 4 team competition for the first time. Typically, an occasional one off game of full contact Rugby League had been played with no significant long term interest to facilitate such a program.
NRL WA Operations Manager – Tony Crowe and NRL Game Development Officers Gus Marshall, Shane Buttle and other NRL WA volunteers have been hands on with the program since it commenced and arrive each week to see a mass of enthusiastic and ever improving participants.
Most participants have been exposed to the game for the first time but have quickly adapted to provide some exciting and fast passed League Tag. The overall Skills, Speed and Agility of several players has excited on-lookers and NRL WA staff.
The vibe and energy around each League Tag afternoon has been nothing short of amazing with many participants stating it to be the highlight of their week. The program enthusiasm is led by recollection of some people’s past time or experience and the youthful enthusiasm of trying something new.
Whilst still in the early stages of the program it looks to become a staple of the annual recreation program, a privilege often only afforded to AFL and Cricket in the past. NRL WA is also working directly with staff to deliver the associated programs – Voice Against Violence and NRL State of Mind two areas that resinate closely to the rehabilitation of in mates not only in Bunbury but across the Justice System.
Recreation officers have applauded the success and enthusiasm shown to date and state that it has been great to see Rugby League enthusiast given the opportunity to not only participate in the sport they love but to share and encourage new comers to give it a go. It is hoped that programs such as this only strengthens the prospect or rehabilitation and reducing re-offending. Sport plays such a large role in so many individual lives and is integral to the community. Giving these guys the opportunity to reconnect to the sport or a step in the door to a community based sport will surely assist with broader confidence and re-integration to society when the opportunity presents.