IRFU's Consultative Document to be Addressed in 3 Separate On-line Sessions.
For the first time ever, the Chief Executive of the Irish Rugby Football Union, Philip Browne, is to answer the rugby public's questions online through the IRFU's web-site (www.irishrugby.ie). Browne will address questions relating to the Consultative Document, Taking Irish Rugby Forward, which was published by the IRFU's Strategic Planning Group in July 2003 as part of the public consultation process on the future of the game in Ireland. He will undertake 3 separate on-line sessions over the next 3 weeks with each one focussing on a different aspect of the Consultative Document.
Explaining the rationale behind this initiative, Browne said, We want to facilitate rugby supporters gaining a full understanding of the game in Ireland and the factors affecting its development in the modern era. We are a small rugby nation competing head on with the big boys; our position is compounded by the fact that rugby is only the 4th most popular field sport after Gaelic, Hurling and Soccer. If Irish rugby supporters have a common understanding of our sport then we can work collectively towards being successful and making it all the more enjoyable for supporters, clubs, players, schools, coaches and administrators alike."
"There are now over 18,000 copies of the 68 page document in circulation, it makes sense to offer people an opportunity to clarify any issues they may have relating to it before they submit their responses on the consultative process to the Strategic Planning Group. The web-site is the best medium as it allows easy and direct access for so many people."
The IRFU's web-site, www.irishrugby.ie, was established in November 2001 and has almost 17,000 registered members. A key facility on the web-site is the message-board' which boasts over 32,000 messages on some 5,488 topics exercising the minds of the Irish on-line rugby community. The message-board averages some 18,000 visits a month, generating 80,000 page views. This is expected, to rise to 30,000 visits and 100,000 page views during the Rugby World Cup in October and November.
The main objective of the on-line sessions is to facilitate people who may have queries about aspects of the consultative document. In order to make the most efficient use of the time available, the on-line discussion with the IRFU Chief Executive will be conducted as follows;
The first round of questions will address the domestic game comprising all aspects of amateur rugby including schools, clubs, coaches and referees. Questions on this aspect of Irish rugby will be accepted through a designated thread' *** on the message-board of the irishrugby.ie web-site from Friday 12th with the answers posted on Tuesday 16th September.
The second area for questions will be the professional game encompassing the national team, the provincial teams, the role of the professional game in providing a financial surplus for the rest of the sport, etc. Questions on this aspect of Irish rugby will be accepted through a designated thread' on the message-board of the irishrugby.ie web-site from Thursday 18th September with answers posted on Monday 22nd September.
The final session will address the other key action areas detailed in the consultative document including facilities (to include stadium issues) and the commercial and marketing development of Irish rugby. Questions on this aspect of Irish rugby will be accepted through a designated thread' on the message-board of the irishrugby.ie web-site from Tuesday 30th September with answers posted on Thursday 2nd October.
***The designated thread for the first of the on-line discussions is, Philip Browne On The Domestic Game.. Please note, questions must be submitted only through this thread and must deal solely with the subject, (Tuesday - the domestic game comprising all aspects of amateur rugby including schools, clubs, coaches and referees).
Go HERE to view the thread.