Rugby League adopts E Tū Tāne

E Tū Whānau has partnered with the Upper Central Zone Rugby League to develop an ‘E Tū Tāne’ strategy that nurtures ‘good blokes’ on and off the field.

Upper Central Zone General Manager, Sash Stosic is a strong advocate and kahukura (leader) of the E Tū Whānau kaupapa. He says that its values and focus on positive reinforcement, align perfectly with the codes’ philosophy, both on and off the field.

Turangawaewae Rugby League Club coach Tamiaho Herangi-Searancke gets his son Kahikatoa Taanetinorau-Searancke off to a good start in his league career

“If we tell a player, ‘don’t drop the ball’, they’re more likely to drop it.  However, if we say, ‘get your hands up, keep your eye on the ball’, they are likely going to catch it.”

Sash says that tāne, like most humans, don’t respond well to being told that they’re doing something wrong all the time.  “But if they’re supported and encouraged to take responsibility for their actions and behaviour, they’ll be more receptive to change.”

The 60 players and their whānau who attended an E Tu Whānau inspired leadership wānanga at Opureora Marae, Matakana Island at the end of February, proved the point.

The players were all keen to realise their potential as fathers, husbands and members of their whānau and wider community as well as successful volunteers and league players. Feedback was very positive.  One participant said he was grateful to everyone for sharing their time and their closest treasures – whānau.

“We have started something powerful that can only help in strengthening us as a people; strengthening our whānau, our clubs; and our community.”

Sash says many in the rugby league community have a strong yearning to help those who are struggling.

“Some of our players need help to steer their own waka.  I could have gone off the rails as a young man but was fortunate to meet the right people at right time in my life. They mentored me and helped me make better choices. Not everyone is that lucky.”

“Let’s actively support our tāne to be the good men that they are. Let’s not leave it to chance.”