The rugby league revolution rewriting Tonga's curriculum

27 October 2017

Nehumi Vanisi and Johannsi Pataleone Vi are the faces of Tonga's rugby league-themed physical education curriculum in every primary school in the country. Credit: ABC: Joanna Lester
Nehumi Vanisi and Johannsi Pataleone Vi are the faces of Tonga's rugby league-themed physical education curriculum in every primary school in the country. Credit: ABC: Joanna Lester

Rugby league is breathing new life into the physical education curriculum in Tonga.

The Rugby League World Cup will see one of the strongest Tongan sides compete in tournament for some time. Two of their representatives are also having an impact off the field.

Nehumi Vanisi and Johannsi Pataleone Vi are working as development officers for the NRL in Tonga. They use rugby league as an educational tool to promote healthy lifestyles, wellbeing messages, and physical activity through a six-week program that is now running in every primary school in the country at the invitation of the Ministry of Education. The program is supported by the Australian Government through the Pacific Sports Partnerships.

The Pacific Sports Partnerships (PSP) program is Australia’s flagship sport for development program in the Pacific. Through PSP, Australia supports activities to address primary risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases, particularly physical inactivity, and address inequalities experienced by women, girls and people living with disability.

Australia Plus: The rugby league revolution rewriting Tonga's curriculum.

Nehumi talks about healthy food choices during an NRL Tonga health and wellbeing lesson in Nuku'alofa. Credit: ABC: Joanna Lester
Nehumi talks about healthy food choices during an NRL Tonga health and wellbeing lesson in Nuku'alofa. Credit: ABC: Joanna Lester
Last Updated: 27 October 2017