Based on the IRFU values of respect and inclusion the sub-committee is establishing a standardised, inclusive framework for disability rugby and developing club resources for the playing, coaching and promotion of rugby for individuals with disabilities.
The aim of the programme is to integrate as many players as is safe and practicable as possible into the game as members of existing rugby clubs.
The work of the group is currently focused on the development of tag rugby for those with intellectual disabilities as this was a format of the game that was practised within clubs since 2006. In order to assist clubs in this area a number of resources have been developed based current best practice and advice from clubs already involved in this aspect of the game. Download the resources below.
The Disability sub-committee recognise that their work needs to address other disabilities to make the game as inclusive for as many people as possible, irrespective of their disability. In-order to do so the IRFU are actively working with a number of professional sports organisations who are involved with disability sports, such as Irish Wheelchair Association, Irish Deaf Sports, Cara and Disability Sport Northern Ireland.
The video below shows an IRFU / CARA 'Xcessible Inclusive Youth Sport Initiative' using Tag rugby. Pupils with intellectual disability had their first introduction to rugby in a fun and safe environment through the IRFU's Munster Branch Community Rugby Officers and Local Sports Partnership's Disability Inclusion Officers
This will enable the IRFU to provide opportunities to a range of players and to ensure principles of inclusion are embedded within coaching and club development practices resulting in more people gaining access to the game.
Other resources and projects will be developed throughout 2016 and resources will be updated accordingly.
Des Kavanagh, Chair of the Disability Sub-Committee, outlines how important disability tag rugby is for the Union and clubs "This gives a new way to approach the game and opens avenues for players, volunteers and clubs to get involved in their club and community. We hope that the Union will play a big part in making rugby accessible to many and have a huge impact on club membership across the country."
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