The League Bilong Laif program has joined forces with Buk bilong Pikinini (BbP) to run a trial school holiday clinic combining rugby league and reading activities for children enrolled at a BbP library.
The trial took place during the recent school holidays (16 April) at the BbP library located at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) in Port Moresby.
More than 40 children from surrounding communities took part in rugby league-themed activities, reading stations and spelling games.
League Bilong Laif is a sport-for-development program funded by the Australian Government and delivered by the National Rugby League (Australia) in PNG.
The holiday clinic was delivered jointly by BbP librarians and League Bilong Laif development officers, and was geared towards the organisations' shared aims to improve educational outcomes for children in Papua New Guinea.
Buk bilong Pikinini (BbP - books for children) is an independent not-for-profit organisation based in Papua New Guinea that aims to establish children's libraries and foster a love of reading and learning.
Staff ran activities designed for children between aged between 4 and 6, focussed on understanding the importance of education through a love of learning and reading, and embracing a healthy lifestyle.
"The League Bilong Laif program is pleased to be able to trial different delivery methods to enhance development outcomes for the children of Papua New Guinea," said NRL PNG In-Country General Manager, Mark Mom.
"Buk bilong Pikinini is focussed on educational outcomes, particularly reading, which falls in line with our League Bilong Laif program outcomes.
"We are also excited about the potential opportunity to expand our program into school holidays to give students an opportunity to enjoy fun, rugby league-related physical activities and reading activities mixed together to enhance their personal development."
"Playing sport and reading books are two important components of a healthy and happy lifestyle," agreed Buk bilong Pikinini Executive Officer, Luke Ebbs.
"We are delighted to be partnering with the League Bilong Laif program to communicate this important message to children at an early age."