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Anne Marie Hughes Appointed Head of Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity

Anne Marie Hughes 8/3/2020

Anne Marie Hughes - Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

The IRFU is pleased to announce the appointment of Anne Marie Hughes as its first Head of Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity (ED&I).

Ms. Hughes joined the IRFU in 2015 as the organisation’s National Safeguarding Lead, ensuring that the IRFU developed a robust Welfare Programme in line with new legislation and national standards. The Programme was key to ensuring a safe and fun environment was in place across our clubs for all age-grade players.

Hearing the voice of under-represented groups, such as youths and players with a disability, became a core element of the safeguarding programme and led to the formation of the ‘Spirit of Rugby’ Programme that Anne Marie has managed since September 2017, ensuring the values of the game are embedded across all rugby programmes.

Prior to joining the IRFU, she worked in a number of programme development roles in other governing bodies, such as Basketball Ireland and Golf Ireland, including the design and implementation of the Code of Ethics in Sport Ireland.

Announcing the appointment, IRFU Chief Executive Kevin Potts said: “The ‘IRFU Spirit’ Programme has evolved since its inception a number of years ago and it is now time for an increased focus on inclusivity and diversity across our game. As the IRFU’s new Head of Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity, Anne Marie will lead the implementation of policies and programmes, such as the Spirit of Rugby Leadership and Women in Rugby Network, as important pillars of the ED&I strategy that will be developed over the coming months.”

Anne Marie Hughes added:

“I am delighted to be continue my journey with the IRFU and am hugely excited by this new role. With a commitment to making rugby as inclusive as possible, coupled with a clear target of 40% of women in leadership roles across the game, this is an exciting time for rugby to embrace a new chapter in sports governance.”