Introducing Ken Moore, South Dublin CRO
April 3, 2016 12:00 am client
Ken began working for Leinster Rugby as a Club Community Rugby Officer with Westmanstown RFC in 2013. As a CCRO, his main role was to promote the rugby club in the local community.
Westmanstown RFC has expanded massively in such a short period of time which is down to the strong links the club now had with its community and the fantastic coaching that it offers.
In September 2014, Ken then moved to South Dublin County Council where he has been ever-since as a Community Rugby Officer. South Dublin County Council is comprised of 265,205 inhabitants with evidence pointing to a continued increase in the numbers of people living within the South Dublin County area. Leinster Rugby in SDCC has a strong tradition dating back many years to the IRFU ‘Tallaght Project’ where rugby was widely perceived as a game for ‘others’.
Today that perception has dramatically altered from a traditional football and Gaelic games stronghold to a more multi-sport area. Rugby is now one of the most rapidly growing sports in SDCC with the playing populating ever-expanding! Currently there are two full time Community Rugby Officers working in partnership with South Dublin County Council. They are working in 70 schools throughout the school year meaning they provide more children with an opportunity to play rugby where ordinarily they would not. These schools are made up of both primary and secondary, boys, girls and co-educational where they aim to get as many children as possible with a ball in hand in some form of the game. Furthermore, they aim to bridge the gap and transition for these children to join their local clubs to continue their enjoyment of the game. They also focus on third level students where again participation and enjoyment is the main aim of their engagement.
The aim of the Community Rugby Officer is to plan and implement a structured programme to clubs and schools with coaching support, talent identification and promotion of participation in Rugby, for Adult males, females and all children through the existing clubs and school networks. Using programmes throughout schools, clubs and the community to implement this goal, Ken is hoping to translate involvement in school and community projects into lifelong participation in clubs. The SDCC based CROs have a strong link with South Dublin County Council and combine expertise for many programmes. Working with SDCC personnel ensures they get right to the heart of every community in the area.
Development is also a big part of a CRO’s portfolio. Initiatives at primary and secondary school level introduce pupils to rugby and provide them with a pathway to continue and develop their involvement in the sport. Primary school blitzes are held regularly throughout the South Dublin County where they promote the values of rugby in a fun and enjoyable environment. Non-rugby playing secondary schools compete in the South Dublin Cup which offers students the chance to get a taste for the game in an inter schools competition. In 2015, there were over 350 students, both male and female, who competed in this competition and the 2016 instalment is due to grow even more!
The creation of an U15 South Dublin team a number of years ago has provided the opportunity for non-club players to represent their area and compete against other council teams. Using this as a start, Ken hopes to identify emerging talent from his area and get players on to representative development programmes so we can find the next Sean O’Brien from Tallaght!
Within clubs in South Dublin County Council there is a broad spectrum of responsibilities including both on and off-pitch development. Providing coaching support and assisting with club development initiatives is key to ensuring that clubs are operating to their best capabilities and can provide the best rugby experience to everyone. From coaching workshops to best practise symposiums Ken hopes to be able to serve her client clubs’ needs.
There are 4 rugby clubs across the South Dublin County:
St. Mary’s College RFC
St. Mary’s College RFC is close to being a full spectrum club. They have comprehensive mini and youth sections. They field multiple adult teams with both their 1st XV men and women competing in the All-Ireland League.
Clondalkin RFC is a Leinster League Division 1A club. They have a number of adult teams – both men’s and women’s – and operate out of an ideal location in Kingswood. The club has recently undergone a very successful pitch and clubhouse redevelopment to ensure they are able to compete with the top rugby clubs.
Tallaght RFC have a very strong rugby tradition in the local area and are making great strides at both mini and youth level. They field two men’s team and a successful women’s team.
Tallaght IT Rugby competes in the college’s league and cup, and boasts several scholarship players. Current plans include social touch rugby for all and the development of a women’s team.
One of the main aims as Community Rugby Officers is to get more players playing in clubs and as you can see, across the South Dublin County, there is a club to cater for everyone!
The ethos in Leinster is to introduce more people to the wonderful sport that is rugby and then to ensure that these people have an enjoyable experience and stay involved in the game for life. The development model used allows people to be reached right through the age spectrum: from primary school children through teenage years and on into adulthood, middle age and to retirement. Ken believes that everyone can gain something from being involved in rugby at any age and can also contribute positively to the sport and their community.
Believing that volunteers are vital to the game of rugby: their support ensures it survives and prospers, she wants to equip them so they can best support the game both on-pitch and off-pitch. Be this through schools, clubs, development programmes or in a wider community sense.
With clubs hungry for more players and schools eager for children to be more and more active Ken wants to develop the link between clubs and schools through more schools programmes, club hosted blitzes, coaching support and teacher training. In a non-traditional rugby playing area there are even more undiscovered players. He wants to bring these players right from discovery of the sport to playing the fifteen-a-side game week in week out.
Sport has been a big part of Ken’s life for many years now but also he has a great interest in music. He has represented Ireland in Karate and holds a black belt.