Karl Miller has joined the Leinster Rugby Community Rugby Department in the Metro Area working as an auxiliary coach in Dublin City Council’s Central Area, with a focus on developing the game in the North East Inner-City (NEIC).

The position is supported through the North-East Inner-City Initiative, which is looking at building a sustainable rugby presence in the local area.

Currently, there is one Community Rugby Officer (CRO), Stephen Maher, working in partnership with Dublin City Council in the wider Dublin City Council Central Area.  Stephen currently works with a large number of schools, youth agencies, after schools’ programmes and local organisations in the area.

Stephen works throughout the school year providing children with an opportunity to play rugby where ordinarily they would not and developing connections to after school activity in the locality and with the nearest rugby club. These schools are made up of both primary and secondary, where they aim to get as many children as possible with a ball in hand in some form of the game and to link them to sustainable activity.

Karl’s role will involve assisting Stephen with these structures within the specified North East Inner-City and will aim to bridge the gap for these children to join their local clubs and to continue their enjoyment of the game. Both Stephen and Karl will focus on youth and adult groups within the community, outside of school, where again participation, enjoyment and potential development of future leaders in the game are the main aims of their engagement.

Karl comes on board with a wealth of rugby experience both from his playing and coaching experience. His most recent involvement in the Dublin Metro Area was working with the area’s U-16 and U-18 development sides.  He has also played the game locally and played on representative sides at a number of different levels including provincial representation at Sevens and international representation at college level.

Miller said: “I am absolutely delighted to have this opportunity to begin working with Leinster and in partnership with both Dublin City Council and the North East Inner-City Initiative. Rugby has played a huge role in my life up to this point and I have great memories and lifelong friends as a result of taking up the sport when I started secondary school.

“The ultimate aim of this role is to increase the number of children and adults participating in rugby in the North East Inner-City. I’m hoping to make people aware of the many benefits that come from getting involved in the sport, whether that be in school or their local club.”

An aim of Dublin City Council, the North East Inner-City Initiative and Leinster Rugby is to plan and implement a structured programme to clubs and schools with coaching support, and promotion of participation in rugby – for adults and all children through the existing clubs, school and after school networks.

The CROs have a strong link with Dublin City Council and working with Dublin City Council personnel ensures that officers and coaching staff get right into the heart of the community in the area. The additional rugby resource in the area aims to add to this development in the North East Inner City community.

Bruce McDevitt, Senior Sports Officer for the North East Inner-City Initiative and Dublin City Council commented:

“Rugby is not a traditional sport in the North East Inner-City, so it is a great opportunity for the area to try something new for the kids in particular, to try something fun, and maybe in time to develop into something more sustainable in terms of activity they can play on a weekly basis.

“With the addition of Karl, we can now reach a much bigger audience and develop more opportunities to experience rugby and really develop the links and structures needed to provide long-term sustainable rugby structures in the North East Inner-City.”