8 years ago, there were some doubts as to whether or not rugby league could thrive in Jamaica, but in 2012 heading into the next season in 2013, those doubts are gone as the JRLA look forward to the season ahead.
Romeo Monteith, the Director of Rugby at the JRLA and the Development Manager of the Caribbean for the RLEF, is excited at what the future holds for RL in Jamaica, as growth and expansion continues in the region.
â€œItâ€™s been an incredible journey”, said Monteith.
“2012 was a solid year for us; we had a productive national competition with eight clubs competing, a five team Intercollegiate Championship and activities in 12 high schools and some primary schools.â€
In an added boost for the JRLA, the Sports Development Foundation in Jamaica, an official Government agency created to contribute to the continued building and development of RL, as well as dozens of coaches and officials in partnerships with GC Foster College and the RLEF.
Ventley Brown, the JRLA Chairman, said they are keen to introduce even more new projects in 2013.
â€œIt is important that we continue to train and educate officials and coaches in the coming years,â€ he noted. â€œOur training courses will empower new ambassadors of rugby league while upgrading existing skills,” said Brown.
Competitions in Jamaica have been a huge success in 2012, with the intercollegiate competition one of the brightest, as a dozen students received scholarships.
To make things even better, the JRLA oversaw 16 additional youth teams in 2012 for a total of 27, an increase of 11 from 2011 – with the JRLA keen to seek full membership of the RLEF and the RLIF, as their confidence is sky-high heading into 2013.
â€œFull Membership, along with continued support from the Sport Development Foundation and GC Foster College, will further strengthen our position in Jamaicaâ€™s rich sporting landscape. It will help the JRLA to sustain and fuel the expansion of the sport in the region. The support of these institutions is critical in getting rugby league into our 14 parishes and the wider Caribbean,” said Monteith.