Rugby league writing contest keeps children engaged, active

The officials behind National Rugby League (N.R.L.) Samoa have had to be creative to keep the children in their programmes engaged, entertained and active against the backdrop of the global coronavirus pandemic. 

They have created an online short story and drawing competition for the children who are in isolation due to restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic state of emergency (S.O.E.). 

During an interview with Samoa Observer, Maika Felise, a representative of N.R.L. Samoa said rugby is not their only focus.

In partnership with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture and the Australian High Commission, education is another big part of their focus and together they have come up with the online competition.

"We run a lot of programmes for the kids, but due to the State of Emergency, all our programmes are on hold," Mr. Felise said 

"We've had this short story competition since we have started here in Samoa back in 2015 but this is our first ever online competition given the state that our country is in right now."

Before the State of Emergency was implemented, National Rugby League Samoa was hosting short story competitions at the end of each school term for primary schools in each district. 

Creating the online competition was to ensure that they don't lose contact with the kids and in hopes gives the kids something fun to do at home to win great prizes.

"We have to keep ourselves busy and our main concern is the kids and what they are doing at home. Also, our team miss going out to see the kids at school," he said

"We run two competitions in each term, and that's just inter-school and within the district."

The competition is for kids in primary level, from year four to year eight. 

There are two competitions running at the time which is the short story and the drawing competition. National Rugby League Clubs overseas such as Vodafone Warriors, Manly Sea Eagles, Panther, Tigers and Bulldogs have been donating prizes for the kids for these competitions.  He also added that the prizes will be delivered directly to the winners regardless of where they live. 

"The kids can write up their story, it can be in Samoan or English or draw something that relates to the chosen topic, "Why is your family important?"," Mr Felise said

"Entries can be sent through our Facebook page, so just take a picture and send through to us.

"We'll then post it on our Facebook page and winner for the best drawing and best short story will be decided by the President of National Rugby League Samoa; Mr Tagaloa Su'a.

"Winner will be announced next Saturday, 25th of April  and they'll win fantastic prizes donated by NRL clubs overseas."

Mr. Felise said that entries can also be submitted to the National Rugby League Office at Lotopa, however, online submissions is more encouraged given the state of social distancing and is more convenient.

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