To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, Leinster Rugby is proud to announce two new programmes being driven by Leinster Rugby’s Women’s Development Officers.

The first will be our inaugural ‘Women’s Webinar Wednesday’ aimed at the area of coaching Youth Girls and the second is the launch of the Leinster Rugby ‘Tag4EveryMum’ programme.

Women’s Webinar Wednesday

The first webinar is running online this Wednesday, 10 March, at 7pm (via Zoom), with a link for registration detailed below.

In a recent survey of coaches of female teams, the technical topics of the set-piece and in particular the scrum and the lineout came out clearly as the areas where respondents expressed the least amount of confidence in their own knowledge to coach teenage girls, and therefore this will be the topic for our first event.

Further webinars relating to other areas of the game such as kicking, evasion, continuity, tackle, and contact area will follow.

The webinar will be most suitable for coaches of Youth Girls aged 16-18. It will feature numerous experienced professional members of Leinster Rugby’s Community and Coach Development staff.

Niall Kane, current Leinster Rugby U18 girls scrum coach will be leading the discussion and presentations around the scrum, while Glenn Predy will be sharing his expertise on the lineout.

Both Niall and Glenn will be supported by Ben Armstrong, who led the Leinster Women’s team to back-to-back interpro titles in 2018 and 2019, and by Damien McCabe, our Coach and Player Development Officer who specialises in female game development.

Leinster Rugby’s Lead Women’s Development Officer, Jennie Bagnall, will also present as will players and Dublin-based Women’s Development Officers Larissa Muldoon and Emily McKeown. Larissa and Emily will be leading the breakout room sections of the event and sharing their own expertise with the coaches who participate in the inaugural event.

“We were delighted when over 150 coaches of female rugby players recently responded to our coaching questionnaire which we promoted through our social media channels,” explained Jennie Bagnall.

“We put that out there as we have a wealth of experience and knowledge in our staff who are passionate and energetic to help upskill club coaches, but we needed to ascertain where coaches of young female players felt they needed support and information in order to run events that fulfilled their needs.

“Everyone is desperate to get back onto the pitch and although it may be a while yet, we can use this time wisely to talk and think about rugby and to develop coaches, so when we do have the girls back playing we can provide them with the best possible coaching and learning environments in their clubs.”

The event promises to be an enlightening and informative evening catering to the specific needs given in feedback by active club coaches and will be a good opportunity to get to know the staff working on the ground in female rugby better.

If you wish to join us for this exciting event please pre-book your free place now.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Please note that coaches of all ages are welcome but be aware content is aimed at the game played by players aged 16 and above.

Leinster Rugby ‘Tag4EveryMum’

The second programme launched by Leinster Rugby today is the ‘Tag4EveryMum’ programme.

This is a new programme specifically designed for clubs to encourage mothers of young players to get involved in their child’s rugby club.

The growth in young girls’ rugby has been phenomenal in recent years with numbers increasing tenfold, particularly since 2018.

The IRFU’s ‘Give It A Try’ programme, the brainchild of Nora Stapleton, the former Leinster Rugby and Ireland player and former IRFU Women’s Development Manager, who is now the Head of Female Sport for Sport Ireland, has been a huge generator of this increase in rugby participation for young girls.

However, the recruitment of older females to support these girls playing the game has not been as successful.

The ‘Tag4EveryMum’ programme will be run in clubs and starts with a gentle introduction to physical activity through fun, small-sided games and activities.

Participants will develop their skills with a rugby ball, learning the basics of a non-contact, fun form of the game with a minimum of four players on each side over a period of six weeks.

During the programme, there will be an event presented by the hosting rugby club outlining what other volunteer requirements they have and asking the moms to think about what skills they have that they may be able to offer in future. From administrative support to learning to coach a child’s version of the game themselves and how they might be able to help their child’s team and club structure to develop.

The timeframe for the programme is, subject to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, this summer and will be limited to a maximum of eight Leinster Community Rugby Clubs who are also running the IRFU’s ‘Give It A Try’ programme for at least the second year.

For this year the ‘Tag4EveryMum’ programme will be run on the same night at the same time as ‘Give It A Try’, giving the rare and exciting opportunity for a parent to try out a new sport alongside their child.

Don’t worry – the mums will be learning how to play their fun tag rugby on a separate pitch to their daughters, but in doing this will enable the parents to stay close by – reducing any anxiety for their children being in a new environment, and enabling the mum to get to know and experience the club for themselves.

Orsolya O’Toole has two daughters who took part in the ‘Give It A Try’ programme in MU Barnhall last year and when told about the new ‘Tag4EveryMum’ programme said: “That’s a great idea. I would have loved to have a go at learning to play some tag while my girls were there playing too.

“Some mums walked laps around the pitches and up the road, while others sat in their cars or at the side of the girls training area, but it would have been nice to have something organised to do, and to meet the other mums when their daughters did ‘Give It A Try’ as they now play on the same Mini Girls team anyway.”

Interested in either programme?

There is no cost to attending either of the above programmes but pre-booking is required for the Wednesday webinars.

Clubs will also need to apply to their Women’s Development Officer at Leinster Rugby in April to be one of the ‘Tag4EveryMum’ host clubs in the months ahead.

For more information on either event please contact your regional Women’s Development Officer using the details below.

Jennie Bagnall: Lead Women’s Development Officer – South East and North Midlands

Larissa Muldoon: Women’s Development Officer – Metropolitan Area (Dublin City Council)

Emily McKeown: Women’s Development Officer – Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown

Niall Kane: Women’s Development Officer – North East and Midlands