The IRFU in partnership with Vision Sports Ireland and The Change Foundation will deliver a coaching workshop for volunteers interested in coaching Vision Impaired Rugby (VI Rugby).
The course will be delivered in two parts, firstly a virtual session will be delivered on Tuesday 17th August and then a practical session will be hosted on Saturday 21st August at Old Wesley RFC in Dublin.
VI Rugby is modelled on traditional rugby and takes elements from both Union and League codes while it is most similar to competitive touch rugby. The game is played in a 7-a-side format with two handed touch with referee commentary assisting players throughout gameplay.
To assist participants the ball contains ball bearings to give audible support and bright coloured bibs are used. Scrums (3 v 3) and line-outs are uncontested and there is no kicking permitted in open play.
The game is for all visionally impaired players male and female B1 to B5 while for competitions players must be B2 – B4.
Former Leinster and Italy player Ian McKinley is a VI rugby ambassador and approached the IRFU in 2020 about the possibility of VI rugby in Ireland. The IRFU worked with Vision Sports Ireland to deliver a survey which identified 90 potential players interested in the programme.
David McKay, IRFU Disability and Inclusion Officer, said,
“We are really grateful to Vision Sports Ireland and The Change Foundation for their support in helping to deliver this pilot programme. The survey illustrated that there was an appetite within Irish Rugby for VI rugby and this coach training course is an important step forward in developing this programme. We are calling anyone with an interest in coaching or volunteering in VI rugby to participate in this coaching course.”
The UK charity – The Change Foundation, started the development of VI rugby in 2016 working with World Rugby. VI Rugby is now being utilised in England, Wales, Japan and New Zealand.
VI Rugby Coaching Course
Vision Awareness Training
Tuesday 17th August 2021, 19.00-20.00hrs via zoom
Saturday 21st August 2021, 11.30-13.30hrs Old Wesley RFC, Dublin
Additional information please contact David.firstname.lastname@example.org