The first Rugby training session for adults with Disabilities took place on Monday 13th June at Tullamore Rugby Club in Spollenstown.
There was a turnout of 14 players mainly from Rehab Care, Tullamore and Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Mountbolus and the plan is to open this out to other services and individuals with disabilities in the community.
Currently the group train on Monday afternoons from 2-3pm at the rugby club. Tullamore is the latest club in Ireland to invest in the IRFU Disability Tag Rugby Programme and following in the footsteps of fellow Midland Rugby neighbours the Mullingar Lions who established themselves in 2013.
Based on the IRFU values of respect and inclusion, Tullamore RFC is establishing a standardised, inclusive framework for disability rugby and developing club resources for the playing, coaching and promotion of rugby for individuals with disabilities in line with the IRFU. The aim of the programme is to integrate as many players as is safe and practicable as possible into the game as members of existing rugby clubs.
The work of the IRFU is currently focused on the development of tag rugby for those with intellectual disabilities as this was a format of the game that was practised within clubs since 2006. In order to assist clubs in this area a number of resources have been developed based current best practice and advice from clubs already involved in this aspect of the game.
The IRFU Disability sub-committee recognise that their work needs to address other disabilities to make the game as inclusive for as many people as possible, irrespective of their disability. In-order to do so the IRFU are actively working with a number of professional sports organisations who are involved with disability sports, such as Irish Wheelchair Association, Irish Deaf Sports, Cara, Local Sports Partnership's Disability Inclusion Officers and Disability Sport Northern Ireland.
This will enable the IRFU to provide opportunities to a range of players and to ensure principles of inclusion are embedded within coaching and club development practices resulting in more people gaining access to the game.
Further information on the IRFU web-site http://www.irishrugby.ie/club/disability_rugby.php or by contacting Martin Nunan, John Burns or Chris Glennon at Tullamore RFC.
In supporting the Disability Tag Rugby Programme in Tullamore, Tullamore RFC will be holding an Information Meeting on Thursday 7th July at Tullamore RFC from 7:30pm and they would welcome all those with an interest or question about how the Rugby Club can support you, your family, your service through the Disability Rugby Programme.
This will be followed by the Annual Tag Teasers, table quiz with all proceeds being donated to the Programme. Those currently training will be selecting the name of their team and this will be announced at the meeting. Should you have any further queries, please contact Martin Nunan on 087-2168833 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.