Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt will open the IRFU ‘Spirit of Rugby’ Conference in January. Honoured with several Coach of the Year awards in 2018, Joe’s experience as a school teacher and coach of young players will bring an insightful opening to what promises to be an informative and educational day.
The theme of the conference is ‘Play Your Part, Let Them Play’, with the aim of helping adults to create and maintain a safe and fun environment that prioritises player welfare. Player welfare has been identified as an essential element in the retention of age-grade rugby players.
The conference is open to coaches, volunteers, parents and all those working with age-grade players in clubs and schools across the four provinces.
In addition to Joe Schmidt, attendees will hear from IRFU Head of Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Prof. Phil Glasgow, who will deliver a talk on ‘Putting Player Physical Welfare at the Centre of Age-Grade Rugby’.
Senior Clinical Psychologist Dr. Paul Gaffney will speak about the ‘Role of the Coach in creating Player-Centred Environment’.
Dr. Anne Marie Waldron, who is a Clinical Director with the HSE’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, will deliver a module on ‘How to ensure Rugby positively contributes to your Player’s Emotional Being’.
The keynote address will be delivered by ‘Changing The Game’ Project Founder John O’Sullivan whose topic is ‘How Adults can contribute to Creating and Maintaining Player-Centred Environment in Age-Grade Rugby’.