Key findings are emerging from the IRFU’s 2023 State Of The Game Survey, with over 4,800 members of the Irish Rugby community taking part.
The survey was designed to gather feedback from players, facilitators and supporters (lapsed and current) to understand levels of. Satisfaction and motivation in domestic rugby as well as barriers, opportunities, likes and dislikes.
The information will be channelled directly into the IRFU’s next iteration of its Strategic Plan.
“The first thing we want to do is thank our respondents,” said project lead and IRFU Business Analyst Dr Jennifer Kavanagh.
“The response rate was unprecedented and there are a huge amount of valid insights we’ll be able to draw from the feedback.”
The next phase of the project will include a deep dive into the data set including focus groups and workshops.
Kavanagh added: “What’s clear for now is that current and prospective players, coaches, volunteers and officials want choice and more control over the role of rugby in their lives.
“The response rate itself reveals just how engaged our community is, and so we’ll look forward to communicating more findings and the strategies they will feed into.”
Key Findings Included:
- Overall satisfaction with rugby involvement is high – 87% of respondents reported as ‘Very Satisfied’ or ‘Satisfied’
- Players play to socialise and stay healthy
- 1/3 of female players would like to play more but do not believe there are opportunities to do so
- Players stop playing rugby due to injury, work commitments and family commitments
- Over 1/3 of lapsed players would like to play again
- Facilitators want to give back to the game and feel part of the rugby community
- Threatening touchline behaviour is among the biggest perceived threats to the spirit of the game
- Participants in all roles are likely to continue in their role next season
The survey formed part of Irish Rugby’s launch of #AnswerTheCall.
#AnswerTheCall is a wide ranging umbrella campaign to grow and develop the grassroots of the game around the excitement of Rugby World Cup 2023.
The launch in March also included an announcement around training and education resources to support clubs and schools heading into the 2023/24 season with player recruitment and retention.
These resources were originally announced as a webinar series but will now take the format of online learning and research modules.
RWC Legacy Working Group chair David Ryan explained: “The IRFU have hosted a number of really successful webinars over the past few years, and they’re a really strong way to get the word out about important matters for the rugby community.
“At the same time we’re always looking at new ways to make it easy for volunteers to access the resources they need.
“Given the time of year, we also want to be understanding of people’s time. So from the end of June onwards, rugby clubs and schools will be able to access these resources the way they need to.”
More details on #AnswerTheCall resources will be announced in the coming weeks.