Building for the future is always an important factor in any sport. Whilst you may have a strong premier league, it is vital that you put systems in place that will ensure that the level of talent, skill and experience required to not only keep the standards of the top division at their current level, but to improve on them and move the sport forward.
It is these principles which are behind the latest announcement from the Caribbean in the formation of an �Academy division� for the 2005 Jamaican National competition. With interest in Rugby League already exceeding even the most optimistic expectations in the islands, the Jamaican Rugby League Association (JRLA) has seen it as important to ensure the long term stability and growth of League in the region that an Academy division was setup to take advantage of the high number of younger declaring their intent to play.
The long term plan by both the JRLA and WIRLF is to see Rugby League played in all the islands from Under 6�s to A Grade, and this announcement is a step in that direction. The formation of the Academy division now gives the JRLA the chance to work with the upcoming youth and help them fine tune their skills and raise the standard of play in the nation. It will also go a long way to ensuring teams have adequate depth to last a full season of Rugby League.
Currently, Vauxhall, the Sharks, the Jamaican Defence Force (JDF) Warriors and the St Catherine�s Saints have all committed to forming both Seniors and Academy sides for 2005, with the JRLA also in discussion with the possibility of forming two more teams.
To find out more about the West Indies Rugby League visit � www.wirlf.com