The Irish Rugby Football Union has launched the ‘Spirit of Rugby’ initiative which is a series of practical educational programmes that embody and promote the core values of the game – respect, inclusivity, integrity, fun and excellence.

‘Spirit’ aims to support players, coaches, volunteers and parents and its primary purpose is to educate those within the game about their rights and responsibilities on and off the field.

The programme will deliver a series of educational workshop for clubs through designated Spirit of Rugby officers, focusing on safeguarding, anti-doping, disability and health and well-being.

The four provincial Spirit of Rugby officers are Luke Murphy (Connacht), Stephen Gore (Leinster), Emily O’Leary (Munster) and Kerry Spence (Ulster).

The Spirit of Rugby programme gets underway with a series of workshops on the role of a Club Welfare Officer at the following locations:

  • Kingspan Stadium – Tuesday, September 12
  • The Sportsground – Tuesday, September 19
  • University of Limerick – Wednesday, September 20
  • Navan RFC – Thursday, September 21
  • Highfield RFC – Tuesday, September 26
  • UCD – Thursday, September 28

Speaking at the launch, Anne Marie Hughes, the Spirit of Rugby Programme Manager, said: “The Spirit Programme has been in development for about 18 months now, and is designed to provide enhanced safeguarding training programmes for Club Welfare Officers to promote the welfare of all age-grade players, as well as club resources, online training and social media campaigns that will support clubs and players in promoting the ‘Keep Rugby Clean’ programme and other initiatives.

“‘Spirit’ is intended to communicate and reinforce Irish Rugby’s values across all levels of the game, resulting in vibrant, sustainable clubs, active volunteers and strong, clean players who can demonstrate respect for the game and themselves.

“The programme will pilot a ‘healthy clubs’ initiative that will encourage clubs to be the hub in the community where everyone can engage in activities that promote physical and mental well-being.”

For more information on the Spirit of Rugby programme in Connacht, please contact [email protected].

Find out more about IRFU Safeguarding here.

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