The Youth Council of the IRFU have commenced Club Consultations across the four provinces. The consultations are being held with players aged between 16 and 23. These peer lead workshops focus on a number areas affecting the retention of age-grade players.
Studies have shown that peer-led communications produce more open and honest responses. Players can contribute in person, in writing or by participating in a ‘moving debate’. The workshop is designed to give all participants the opportunity to contribute in a way they feel comfortable.
Key questions asked in these consultations include:
- What could the IRFU do better in youth rugby?
- Do you see yourself remaining in rugby and why?
- Do you see yourself dropping out of rugby and why?
There are also discussions around why players are involved in rugby, the future of rugby, the pressure to perform, coaching and refereeing, competition structures and balancing rugby with education.
All information is collated, common issues will be identified and a resource booklet will be created aimed at providing solutions to key issues raised in age-grade rugby. Case Studies on best practice will also be produced and shared with clubs.
Irish Rugby is issuing an open invitation to clubs who would like to host a youth consultation.
“The retention of age-grade players is a huge issue facing all codes across all countries – not just rugby,” said IRFU Youth Council Vice-Chair Meadhbh Lewis. “Being proactive about finding a solution or solutions to this issue will help retain players across transition periods, not just in a playing sense but also in volunteering. It’s key to ensuring the future of Irish Rugby.
What makes these consultations unique is the fact that we go to clubs where players are comfortable in their own environment and willing to give open responses to topics we introduce. It’s a safe space for them to be honest with us.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to get to clubs around the country and document best practice which we can then share with other clubs.”
Clubs that would like to get involved in the IRFU Youth Council Club Consultations should email firstname.lastname@example.org.