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The NRL has partnered with the Australian Sports Commission to encourage school children to become fit and healthy through a new Sporting Schools program, PlayNRL.

NRL Head of Football Todd Greenberg joined the Australian Sports Commission in Holbrook today to launch the pilot program.

"We are excited to be partnering with the Abbott Government and the Australian Sports Commission for the Sporting Schools program, and we thank them for their support of Rugby League," Mr Greenberg said.

"We already have a strong presence in the school system, and we are looking forward to it being enhanced through this important partnership."

Mr Greenberg said the PlayNRL program aimed to create a "social" way to play Rugby League.

"We have a strong focus on participation and at these ages we aim to ensure Rugby League is as enjoyable as possible,"  he said.

"There is room in our game for everyone, whether it is through tackle, tag or touch football and we have mini and mod football for younger players.

"The main thing is to encourage young people to participate and have fun – and that's what this program will do."

PlayNRL is an introductory program that aims to offer participants a "non-competitive" program that focuses on fun and participation.

The PlayNRL program is structured around the distinct needs of school-aged children and their developmental requirements, and caters for all types of experience and skill levels, through touch, tag and tackle options.

It is non-competitive form of the game where no formal scores are recorded, there are no competition points and no final series.

The program uses small sided games played on a smaller field, less player numbers and using a modified ball with modified rules to encourage greater participation for all players. All players play under the NRL Safe Play Code.

PlayNRL will be made available to all schools as part of the Sporting Schools programme once the current pilot is completed at the end of June.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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