Vanuatu Rugby Union has secured two development officers to help elevate the sport in the country.
Development is the key component of a sport starting from grass-root which will help build a strong foundation allowing competitive competition in elite level.
VRU has secured the services of Pita Natoga and Dave Lolo who will assist VRU with development programmes which would win interest of stakeholders, communities, schools and clubs back to rugby union.
Mr Natoga currently coach and trainer for Ovins women’s team. He started playing rugby in Fiji for more than 20 years starting from Primary School to Secondary School, played club rugby and was part of Fiji’s champion provincial team Nadroga Rugby. He also assisted youth teams and FSC rugby club in Ba town in coaching.
He has completed World Rugby -Rugby Ready Course, have also covered World Rugby Online Level One Coaching 15 -a side course and Strength and Conditioning courses.
The second development officer Mr Lolo currently is a trainer and one of the coaches for Chiefs Rugby Academy.
Speaking to this newspaper Mr Natoga acknowledges VRU for giving him a chance to help and said his main focus for the next 6 months is implementing Get Into Rugby programme to schools primary, secondary and to the communities.
“I’m glad to be given this opportunity to assist VRU in their development programmes as a rugby player we passionate about building the sport and i’m grateful to help Vanuatu grow in rugby union.
“ There are lot of things to be done in order to win the people’s hearts, the communities back to the sport,” Natoga said.
“ Our Get Into Rugby(GIR) programmes will be taken to schools, communities teaching them the values and basics of rugby and also the same time tell them how exciting this sport is so we can get more clubs to be involved in the Union.”
Natoga also stated there is a need to increase player base in the VRU system starting from club levels.
“ We only have less then 10 clubs who are active and competing in competitions and hoping in 2 years time the number will grow and have at least 20 clubs both men and women competing competitively.”
Mr Natoga and Mr Lolo will be working closely with Oceania Rugby in delivering the programmes.
The duo will be paid in allowance based by Vanuatu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee(VASANOC).