‘Our rangatahi love rugby league’ – Wayne Capper

By Bronson Perich
Photo / Used with permission

Rugby league veteran Wayne Capper set up an academy in Taranaki. Based at Spotswood College, the academy started in February - and then Covid hit.

Now the kids are back, ready to run with the ball.

“Part of this programme, working alongside Spotswood College, is to try to keep our rangatahi in the game,” Wayne Capper says.

Taranaki lacks a secondary school league tournament to engage young players, he says.

He's hoping this programme can help change that. 

Wayne Capper talks league and youth - Photo / File

Capper has worked extensively to build rugby league in Taranaki and abroad. He sits on the Taranaki Rugby League and Taranaki Whānui Māori Rugby League boards.

His strategy is to build the sport through secondary school qames, rather than clubs.

Sport has many benefits, he says. Not every schoolkid, learns well in the classroom, so using sport to teach life lessons outside classes helps to maximise their potential, he argues.

“Using sports to get the best out of our rangatahi is a bonus,” Capper says.

He says parents have noted improvements in the confidence and health of their tamariki who have gone through the programme.