Jump to main content


‘No To Bullies In Rugby’ As IRFU Marks Northern Ireland’s Anti-Bullying Week

‘No To Bullies In Rugby’ As IRFU Marks Northern Ireland’s Anti-Bullying Week

The IRFU is calling on clubs throughout Ireland to make it clear that bullying is not acceptable behaviour and to ensure that age grade players, in particular, are clear that they are expected to show ‘respect’ and celebrate ‘inclusivity so that rugby is fun for everyone.

The IRFU marked Northern Ireland’s Anti-Bullying Week, and its work with the ISPCC, by delivering an updated web resource for Club Welfare Officers 

The ISPCC/IRFU anti-bullying resource aims to stamp out unwelcome behaviour by age-grade players, coaches and other club personnel and to promote the ISPCC ‘Shield Your Club’ programme.
IRFU Safeguarding Officer Anne-Marie Hughes said: “We hope the rugby can provide a blueprint for behaviour, not just on the field but off it too. 

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

“Bullying, in any form, is not acceptable and should not form any part of a player’s rugby experience. It’s important that age-grade players learn this important message early and that everyone is clear that there is no place for bullies in rugby.

“Bullying grows if people assume that name-calling, exclusion, teasing and other similar behaviours are acceptable. 

“This is never a pleasurable experience and is especially unwelcome for young people who may not have developed the emotional maturity to put the behaviour in context or have the tools to cope with it.
“Young people are often embarrassed to share their concerns with others and often need adults to be their voice in such circumstance. 

“We have come together with the ISPCC to develop an introduction to the ‘Shield Your Club’ toolkit which is a child-centred, user friendly document to help clubs review and update their current policies and underline their commitment to child welfare.
“As clubs in Northern Ireland celebrate anti-bullying week, it is a good time for clubs to access what they have in place and to take steps to stand up to bullying.”