The IRFU and Community Games have agreed a new partnership to help more young people develop active and healthy lifestyles through rugby.
A Memorandum of Understanding was agreed and signed by both organisations at an official event in the Aviva Stadium on March 30th. The MoU is effective immediately and is designed to forge new links between the IRFU and Community Games in the coming years.
Community Games is an independent voluntary organisation with over 50 years’ success providing sporting and cultural opportunities in the Republic of Ireland.
As part of the agreement, X Rugby 7s will be the format of choice for Community Games with their clubs, counties and provinces. X Rugby 7s is a seven-a-side format of the game played cross-pitch. It’s popularity within Irish Rugby continues to grow as a way of attracting new players into the sport. It offers all the fun and core skills of rugby union without the need for 30 players or a full-size pitch.
The partnership will also provide training and education opportunities for Community Games volunteers who want to develop their coaching skills in rugby.
Speaking at the official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, Gerry McGuinness, President, Community Games, said:
“We are delighted to enter this historic partnership with the IRFU and are grateful for their commitment to providing expert guidance and training to our coaches.”
“Together, we can support our participants in developing not only their rugby skills, but also valuable life skills such as teamwork, perseverance, and sportsmanship. This agreement marks a new era for Community Games and the IRFU and we are excited to see what the future holds for our young athletes.”
David Hoysted, CEO, Community Games, added:
“We are delighted to provide our participants with a chance to experience the excitement and camaraderie of rugby and we are keen to ensure that this opportunity is available to all our Community Games Areas.
“We are developing an introductory programme for later in the year with a view to a full roll out of X Rugby 7s in 2024.”
Chair of IRFU Youth Committee Robert Deacon said:
“This agreement is an important development for rugby in the community.
Community Games have thousands of volunteers who care deeply about young people in their locality. We want to support them in offering rugby as a way of providing an outlet for their physical and mental wellbeing and we are excited about where this new partnership can take us.”
IRFU Age Grade, Student & Rugby Enterprise Manager Eoin Hogan commented:
“I’m particularly pleased that X Rugby 7s has such a significant role to play – it’s a proven format for growing the game in developing programmes across the four provinces. This partnership has been a number of years in the making and we are very confident about working with Community Games in the coming years.”