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Your Local Club Is Waiting To Welcome You – #AnswerTheCall

Your Local Club Is Waiting To Welcome You –  #AnswerTheCall

©INPHO/Ben Brady

“Your local club is waiting to welcome you.” – That’s the message for anyone who wants to make the most of the excitement around this Guinness Six Nations weekend.

Rugby is the number one team sport Irish people would like to try according to the Mid-Year Report for the 2022 Irish Sports Monitor – with almost one in three people would keen to try a new sport.

“There’s an incredible energy around Irish Rugby this week,” says IRFU Rugby Development Director Colin McEntee. “There are over 220 clubs in our communities and we want people to know their local club is waiting to welcome them.”

“There’s never been more choice for people willing to walk through the gate. As well as the traditional contact options there are lots of formats that focus on fun and participation and our non-contact offerings are growing in popularity.

“For anyone who doesn’t have a ticket to the Aviva Stadium, there’s also no better place to watch the big game. So answer the call – we’re coming to the end of the domestic season now and it’s a great time to pop in, feel the energy, enjoy the welcome, go for a walk around the grounds or  think about picking up a rugby ball later in the year.”

The IRFU are launching a suite of resources to help clubs and schools make the most of the current excitement in irish Rugby.

With less than six months to go to Ireland’s opening game in France, all Irish Rugby stakeholders are being reminded of the opportunity to create a lasting legacy in the domestic game from Ireland’s Rugby World Cup campaign.

Training and Education For Clubs:

Recruitment of players and volunteers through strategic initiatives in clubs will be a key focus of the campaign. It all starts in pre-season for 2023/24 with a series of training and education opportunities:

MonJune 19th 2023: IRFU Webinar: Maximising Player Recruitment In Your Club

Mon June 26th 2023: IRFU Webinar: Maximising Volunteer Recruitment In Your Club

Wed June 28th 2023: IRFU Webinar: Club As A Hub For RWC23 In Your Community

Events In Schools:

More are more children are picking up a rugby ball for the first time in their schools.

The #AnswerTheCall campaign will include a series of events in primary and second level schools that will be timed perfectly for the start of both the new school year and Rugby World Cup 2023.

Resources For Clubs & Schools:

A series of resources will be made available to clubs and schools to help them run introductory sessions and events to welcome new and lapsed rugby players:

  • A Guide To Running An Open Day In Your Rugby Club
  • A Guide To Running An Open Session In Your School
  • Case Study: How introductory programmes build participation and membership
  • How To Include Novice/Lapsed Players In Rugby Training

In addition to these offerings, provincial and central resources already in place will be made available to clubs under the following headings:

  • Age Grade Contact
  • Age Grade Non-Contact
  • Teaching Non-Contact Rugby Through Fundamental Movement Skills
  • Adult Non-Contact
  • Disability & Inclusion

Promotional Tools For Clubs & Schools:

A promotional resource pack will also be made available to clubs and schools to help them promote their events for pre-season and throughout the Rugby World Cup. Under the theme #AnswerTheCall, this pack will provide social media templates for recruitment programmes and community events as well as print quality formats for greater visibility in clubs, schools and the wider community.

Speaking about the launch, IRFU President John Robinson said:

“Rugby World Cup 2023 is fast approaching and with it is a unique and exciting opportunity to grow the game in our communities. We know from the mid-year report of the Irish Sports Monitor that rugby is the number one team sport that people would like to try. To make the most of the opportunity, we need to make rugby as inclusive, inviting and exciting as possible. We are committed to supporting our clubs and schools in making that happen.”

IRFU Committee member David Ryan has been leading the RWC Legacy Working Group over the past number of months.

“The starting point for this campaign was about understanding the needs of our community,” he said. “Getting a new season up and running is challenging so it’s not about trying to add layers of work down on top of that. We’ve put training and education opportunities into pre-season and our hope is that we can build new approaches to recruitment and retention into what clubs and schools will already be doing. It’s all about making sure Ireland is standing tall when the time comes in September.”