IRFU research has shown that fitness levels have not changed in Irish club players over the last 10 ten years. The game of rugby is about speed, power, and agility as well as basic movement skills. Development of these fundamental qualities must start within the club and school structure, ifplayers are to be properly prepared for the game.Currently there is no control or standard by which fitness trainers operate. The Certified Conditioning Coaching programme will rectify this.
The IRFU through its Fitness Department has, since the inception of the professional game, accumulated a sport science knowledge andexperience base that is now modularised and ready to be made available for the benefit of Irish schools and club rugby.
The first programme will commence in May 2003. Clubs and schools will be asked to nominate individuals to attend the course. The programme will mainly be of a practical nature with continued support thereafter
The IRFU Rugby Department in conjunction with the Director of Fitness, Dr. Liam Hennessy, believe that the programme can be one of the most significant steps in the progressive improvement of the physical capability of all players at all levels of our Domestic game.
Dr. Hennessy said of the new initiative:"We are very excited about this initiative. Delivering this programme to clubs and schools will complement the excellent work that hastaken place in skill development over the years at both club and school level. This course aims to provide a team of conditioning coaches at club and school level who will have the competence and confidence to deliver andimplement a safe, progressive and effective physical conditioning programme."