Emily O’Leary appointed as Munster “Spirit Officer”

Emily O’Leary has recently been appointed “Spirit Officer” for Munster as part of new IRFU initiative.

The new initiative, named the “Spirit of Rugby” is a number of practical educational Programmes set out to incorporate the core values of rugby, respect, inclusivity, integrity, fun and excellence.

The new programme hopes to help players, coaches, parents and volunteers and educate them about their rights and responsibilities on and off the field.

The Spirit of Rugby will consist of educational workshops for Clubs via designated Spirit of Rugby officers. The main focus of the programmes will be anti-doping, safeguarding and health and well being.

First up for the initiative is providing workshops for clubs on the role of their Club Welfare Officer. One clever piece of equipment the workshop will be providing is a sign for the side of pitches that explains that the kids playing are playing for fun and are not pros as well as explaining to encourage players and coaches alike as they are volunteers too.

Munster’s officer, O’Leary will deliver two workshops this month, the first at the University of Limerick on the 20th of September and then again at Highfield RFC in Cork on Tuesday 26th September.

The Spirit of Rugby Programme manager, Anne Marie Hughes was speaking at the IRFU launch of the initiative:

“The Spirit Programme has been in development for about 18 months now, and is designed to provide enhanced safeguarding training programmes for Club Welfare Officers to promote the welfare of all age-grade players, as well as club resources, online training and social media campaigns that will support clubs and players in promoting the ‘Keep Rugby Clean’ programme and other initiatives.

“‘Spirit’ is intended to communicate and reinforce Irish Rugby’s values across all levels of the game, resulting in vibrant, sustainable clubs, active volunteers and strong, clean players who can demonstrate respect for the game and themselves.

“The programme will pilot a ‘healthy clubs’ initiative that will encourage clubs to be the hub in the community where everyone can engage in activities that promote physical and mental well-being.”


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Diarmaid Scannell