The IRFU is calling on all clubs to take part in a series of Respect Our Game activities over the weekend, to remind everyone of the values of the game, specifically the importance of RESPECT, for players, volunteers, members, and spectators.
The IRFU is asking all individuals involved in the game, whether through playing, volunteering, coaching, refereeing, to complete the Respect Our Game Survey.
Earlier this season, representatives of the IRFU, FAI and the GAA have pledged to work together on this important topic over the coming year.
The three main sporting bodies in Ireland will work together to remind everyone within their games about the values of ‘Respect’ on and off the field.
One of the main reasons why adults drop out of sport is that they feel “they didn’t belong or didn’t feel welcomed”. Specifically, young players say, “it wasn’t fun anymore”. When people have a positive experience, they stay involved for longer and may look to give back to the club during their membership. From The IRFU State of the Game Survey conducted in 2022, 55% of players, 43% of coaches and 47% of referees surveyed feel that poor sideline behaviour is a big threat to the game and made them reconsider their role in the game.
The purpose of the weekend is to highlight our values and to showcase all that is good in rugby through involvement in the club. It is an opportunity to showcase how rugby can positively contribute to our lives when carried out in a respectful and safe environment. Initiatives, such as fair play awards at adult games, silent/positive sidelines at youth games and/or presentations to the parents and coaches on their influential role within the game will be a part of the weekend.
The IRFU created social media banners for clubs and individuals to display on their social media platforms. The IRFU have also provided resources to each club to be used as part of the messaging over the weekend.
Stephen Gore, IRFU Spirit of Rugby Projects Manager, said,
“We are fortunate that there is a long tradition and culture of respect in rugby. We do not take for granted the importance of the role of match officials and volunteers in helping our sport to run smoothly and it is very important all these people are treated with the utmost respect.
“Weekends such as this are essential in keeping these values thriving in our game and I am pleased we are working with all our clubs to deliver this important message.”
For more information on the Spirit of Rugby Respect Our Game campaign, contact Stephen Gore, Spirit Of Rugby Projects Manager.