Leinster Rugby TV recently spent a day with Stephen Maher, one of our 58 Community Rugby Officers, working on the ground, around the 12 counties.

During the day, we traveled to Ballybough Community Centre for St Columbus National School’s rugby training session, met with Dublin City Council’s Sports Officers, before heading to O’Connell School and finishing the day up in Clontarf Rugby Club.

Part of Stephen’s role also involves being the lead rugby officer in the Metropolitan area. As well as that, he is also Programme Manager for the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby School of Excellence camps which take place in July and August each year.

“We are working with about 12 national schools and four main secondary schools in the area, these all would have taken on the programme. Whether it be tag rugby, touch rugby, TY training course, and from there we have got players and coaches into Clontarf and we got some TY students coming out and giving me a hand running blitzes and events,” Maher explains.

“We have a lot of youth services we run within the inner city and we have our own pop up club that we run in Sheriff Street. For kids who have an interest in rugby outside of school, and from there we signpost them to their local rugby club.

“I’d have a huge working relationship with the councils and the local sports officers. The plan would be, we would link in with them early in the year, identify the programme we want to run, the schools we want to hit and the youth services we want to work with and create our plan for the year,” he adds.

“This is O’Connell boys school, a primary school in the inner city, a lot of the kids we would have worked with in the school sessions and after schools services to get them to experience rugby and if they enjoy it and like it, then we get them into the club, and this is where they become part of the community of a rugby club, to one day represent their club, and one day have a run out at the RDS or even better, running out at the Aviva.”

Contact your local Community Rugby Officer.