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Emily getting in 'Spirit' of making game better


Munster’s new ‘Spirit Officer’ Emily O’Leary

Munster’s new ‘Spirit Officer’ Emily O’Leary

Munster’s new ‘Spirit Officer’ Emily O’Leary

Emily O'Leary was recently appointed 'Spirit Officer' to Munster Rugby as part of a new IRFU initiative across the four provinces.

The 'Spirit of Rugby' initiative is a series of practical educational programmes that embody and promote the core values of the game - Respect, Inclusivity, Integrity, Fun and Excellence.

'Spirit' aims to support players, coaches, volunteers and parents and its primary purpose is to educate those within the game about their rights and responsibilities on and off the field.

The programme will deliver a series of educational workshop for clubs through designated Spirit of Rugby officers, focusing on Safeguarding, Anti-Doping, Disability and Health and Well-Being.

Throughout September the four provincial Spirit Officers will host workshops on the role of a Club Welfare Officer, where each club will receive a sideline sign to remind those attending matches that children are not pro-players and are playing for fun, that coaches and referees are volunteers and that players are doing their best, and deserve their support and encouragement.

Based on the Rugby Spirit philosophy, O'Leary will host two workshops - at the University of Limerick on Wednesday, September 20 and Highfield RFC, Cork on Tuesday, September 26.

Speaking at the recent IRFU launch, Anne Marie Hughes, the Spirit of Rugby Programme Manager, said: "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."

For further details to take part in the upcoming workshops please email emilyoleary@munsterrugby.ie for more details.

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