Rugby teachers aim for national award
Clyde Fenton Primary School physical education teacher Kiera Lansdown, and Katherine South Primary School rugby academy coordinator Tim East, are in the running for the National NRL Teacher of the Year Award.
Both teachers fulfilled several criteria, including engagement of students outside the curriculum, encouraging model sportsmanship and safe play, and involvement in interschool competitions.
Rugby novice Kiera Lansdown is working to develop the proficiency of the years 1 to 6 players, aiming to improve their talent and level of school participation.
Kiera said rugby is a major sports attraction at the school, generating “positive spin-offs beyond the oval”.
“Rugby is the biggest sports’ drawcard for our boys, but girls are beginning to join the boys on the oval,” she said.
“The respect students develop on the field aligns with that in the classroom, and we have students getting along better, and working together, to help one another on and off the field.
“I want to continue the love of rugby and get more students involved in the juniors’ competition. I’d love to take a team on a trip to show off their incredible talent.”
Award finalist Tim East said: “The rugby academy inducts students who commit to good behaviour, regular school attendance, and weekly training sessions.
“Starting with less than 30 participants from years 5/6 in the first year, the academy now has 93 players from years 3 to 6.
“Rugby has enhanced attendance, increased physical activity, and improved students’ attitudes and behaviours.
“Since the academy started in 2016 we’ve have had boys selected in the NT Rugby Union and NT Titans Rugby League squads each year, and the SSNT Rugby League and Touch teams, and girls selected in the SSNT Touch team.
“I’m hoping to offer our players an opportunity to compete interstate or internationally next year.”