Ten children from Direct Provision have begun rugby training with Clonakilty RFC following a visit by the club to the centre in the town.
Each child was given a rugby ball and heard about the history of the club and the sport.
Community Engagement Officer Sinéad Burton said they assisted the kids getting to training: “The biggest problem they face is transport. We have agreed to make arrangements to ensure they will be transported to and from their centre.
“They are playing non-contact rugby at present. They are very sweet and genuine children. The whole idea is to promote more inclusivity within our community. We want to make sure everyone within our locality knows about our club and has access to it.
“The club believes it has a responsibility to serve its community, but it also recognises the opportunity to engage further with the local community, expand player numbers and strengthen the club through diversity with new people and fresh ideas. We believe diversity is strength.”
Clonakilty RFC have more ambitious targets they hope to meet in the short-term future. They have a bring a friend initiative and are heavily involved with the West Cork Jesters, who are a mixed ability team.
“We are hoping to give a talk in the Travellers Centre in the near future. We are also talking to the LGBT community,” Sinéad explained, adding that they hope to run an event for autistic children in the coming months.
“It is all about promoting the sport, but also emphasising the importance of team-sports, friendship, fitness and fun,” she added.
“We will always endeavour to provide top class coaching in line with IRFU standards and continued improvement of our facilities. We also want to also encourage participation in the game and our club from all sections of society. We want to build and maintain effective relationships. We want to recognise gaps in the community that we can fill. Above all, we want to be creative in finding solutions to community issues," Sinéad concluded.