James Cook University is teaming up with the National Rugby League (NRL) to train its referees in North Queensland.
JCU’s Head of Sport and Exercise Science, Associate Professor Fiona Barnett, said the University would work with the NRL’s Officiating Unit through the High-Performance University Based Structure (HUBS) Program.
“It will function as a three-dimensional education program for NRL officials, delivering educational, technical and personal development opportunities,” she said.
Dr Barnett said the NRL HUBS program was designed so that the training of officials would not be hampered by their location.
“The officials will visit JCU, where staff and students will assess them to determine where they need to improve their strength and conditioning. There will be opportunities for Sport and Exercise Science staff and students to complete research projects with the trainee officials,” she said.
The NRL General Manager, Officiating, Tony Archer said the NRL wants to provide a national identity for rugby league officiating.
“We’re very excited to formalise this agreement with JCU, allowing the development of a clear and supported national structure and pathway for match officials and delivering much needed support from the grassroots to the elite level of officiating.
“We are focused on ensuring that all Rugby League Officials in North Queensland are not disadvantaged by their postcode, and that we provide the same opportunity for all officials. The agreement with JCU is critical to the success of that,” he said.