The Welsh Rugby Union are committed to promoting positive behaviour, and working with parents and volunteers to ensure that we create a safe and positive environment for children to learn, develop and have fun through their experiences in rugby.
It is vitally important that volunteers in Welsh rugby understand their safeguarding responsibilities in relation to the children that they interact with in the rugby environment. Sport provides a great opportunity for young athletes to develop their life skills, and rugby in particular as a team sport is an example of how positive role models can influence and shape the behaviour of others.
There is a responsibility for everyone involved in the game to ensure that respect and discipline remains a central theme in the minds of children starting out on their rugby journey. It is important that children, parents, coaches, volunteers and any other people involved in the game understand the rugby culture and ethics and treat people with respect so that everyone enjoys the ‘Welsh Rugby Experience’.
There are a number of clubs who promote positive behaviour through the use of ‘Respect Boards’ and some have posted their Codes of Conduct not only on notice boards, but also on permanent boards outside their club or changing rooms.
It’s extremely important that adults understand the effect that their behaviour can have, and coaches in particular are in a position of trust and responsibility and can heavily influence the thinking and behaviour of the children they coach.
There are Codes of Conduct for Players, Parents, Spectators and Coaches and these should be placed in a prominent place so that all volunteers and visitors are able to view these and understand the expectations in terms of behaviour of everyone at the club.
Referees and Officials play an integral part of every game of rugby played, ranging from the international stage to community and age grade spheres. They have a pivotal role in ensuring that Wales’ national sport, and arguably chief love continues to thrive week in, week out. There is a need for all adults to understand that we must promote positive behaviour towards Referees, and set good examples for children to follow.