Sport and development in the Pacific and Australia

On August 1, I am speaking at a public seminar hosted by the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) program at the Australian National University. The seminar considers debates surrounding the sport-for-development thesis and, using case studies from the Pacific region and Australia, highlights how Rugby League has served as a development tool to promote health and education issues.

My colleague, Dr. Roannie Ng Shiu, is presenting findings from the 6-month evaluation of the ANU-National Rugby League (NRL) Pacific Studies Cultural Leadership Camp held in January 2012. It highlights the impact the camp has had on players’ professional and personal development.

A NRL Education and Welfare Office panel, including Paul Heptonstall, Nigel Vagana, Andrew Ryan and Tony McFayden, will discuss current programs with a focus on higher education and Pacific programs. The NRL Education and Welfare Office has also implemented a number of programs to promote the success of players on and off the field in an effort to ensure that “when players leave [the] great game they are better men for having been part of Rugby League.” (Mark Coyne, Chairman Education and Welfare Committee).