The Nederlandse Rugby League Bond, which has been granted Observer status of the RLEF since February 2012, is targeting 2014 as the year in which it will significantly develop rugby league in the Low Countries.
The six-strong board of directors has, to date, focused on ensuring a sustainable foundation based on good governance and has now set itself a series of short and long-term objectives.
Principal among those is the creation of four rugby league clubs, officially registered under Dutch law, and fielding them in a 9s competition later this year, as a precursor to a full 13-a-side championship which has so far never been attempted in Holland.
President Timo Meinders, who took over last year from the pioneering Jason Bruygoms– now NRLB development manager – is also leading the project to have NRLB accepted by the national sports authority, the Nederlandse Olympisch Comité-Nederlandse Sport Federatie (NOCNSF).
“The goals of 2014 will help us achieve the long term result,” said Meinders. “Building the house with bricks, stone by stone. The NRLB and rugby league players are doing this with pride, passion and love for the sport.”
NRLB is also mentoring the younger Belgian association in its own technical development, in partnership with the Federation Française de Rugby à Paris Treize.
The tripartite project begins in Delft in April, with seven Belgian coach and match official tutors joining leading French personnel Thierry Alibert and Thierry Dumaine as well as RLEF staff.