I’ve only just heard about Young Rugby Ambassadors – is it too late for our club to get involved?
Not at all – Young Rugby Ambassadors (YRAs) is a rolling programme and if you have young people who would like to get involved, please let your RFU Rugby Development Officer know.
Which other clubs from our area are involved in Young Rugby Ambassadors?
Information on the participating clubs in your area is available from your Constituent Body (CB) and RFU Rugby Development Officer.
Young Rugby Ambassador selection
We are not sure how to select the YRAs, do you have any ideas?
There is no prescribed process for selecting the YRAs but you could use a number of approaches. These could include:
- A simple application and interview process
- Nomination by other club members or self-nomination of club members
- An election among club members or specific sections of the club
- Inviting suitable young people to be part of the programme
It is important to select YRAs who are keen, enthusiastic and have the time and commitment to undertake the roles identified in the job description.
Do the YRAs have to be rugby players?
No, as long they are club members, they are eligible to be a Young Rugby Ambassador.
Some of our YRAs may be away at college or university, does this matter?
No, as long as they are able to undertake the YRA role at their club, it does not matter where they are based.
We want to select some young people to be the mentors, is this OK?
Yes, as long as you feel they have the skills required to be an effective mentor.
We don’t think that we can get four YRAs; can we still be involved if we can only find two?
We recommend that you identify four, because it is easier for young people to work together as a team. If, however, you are only able to nominate two young people who are deemed to be suitable, that’s fine.
Is there a maximum number of YRAs we can have in our club?
No – just ensure you have sufficient mentors to provide support.
We don’t have a women/girls section in our club, are we still expected to nominate at least one girl?
We don’t want this requirement to be a barrier but would encourage you to consider nominating girls/young women from any part of the club.
We want to nominate an YRA who does not fit the age criteria, can we do that?
For welfare and child protection reasons, the YRAs need to be at least 16 years old. If you would like to nominate someone over 20 to be a YRA, please send this request through to YRA2015@rfu.com and this will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Mentor selection and recruitment
Who can be a mentor?
The role of mentor is very important and ideally should be somebody influential and well-connected within the club who can help the YRAs get their voices heard.
How old do you have to be to be a mentor?
Anyone over the age of 18 can be a mentor
How much time will the role take?
This will depend upon the age(s) of your YRA(s), how much support they need and the sort of activities they want to organise. We would estimate an average of 2-3 hours per week.
What’s in it for me?
By acting as a mentor for YRAs you're not only helping them to achieve their objectives, you’ll also hopefully notice some benefits for you, too. The following list highlights some positives of volunteering with Young Ambassadors:
- Helping the next generation of rugby volunteers develop themselves and the game
- Developing your leadership skills
- Building relationships with local RFU colleagues
- Increased influence with and involvement in your club management
- Building on your communication and effective listening techniques
- Information on RFU programmes and development to disseminate to club colleagues
Young Rugby Ambassador workshops
Why are the workshops now being held locally?
Following the phase one and two conferences, we invited your feedback through an online survey and via your local delivery teams. In order to make the programme more accessible to a greater number of clubs, the workshops will be held at convenient venues that do not involve long travelling distances and, as far as possible, at times that are convenient to the majority of participants.
We have identified a couple of mentors but they are not able to attend the conference, can someone else go on their behalf?
Wherever possible, mentors should attend the workshops, so that they gain full understanding of the programme. If this is not possible, however, then the person attending in their place should be prepared to fully brief the mentors back at their club.
Can our YRAs attend the conference if we can’t find an adult mentor to go with them?
We would prefer the YRAs and adult mentors attend the workshop together but if this is not possible the YRAs can attend on their own. However, it is vital that the adult mentors obtain the information and resources from the workshop and meet with the YRAs as soon as possible after the event to agree how they are going to work together.
Will the RFU pay for the costs of attending the conference?
Sorry, no, we hope that the club will support the travel costs to the workshop. The workshop itself and all the associated resources are free to the YRA and mentors.
What will happen after the YRA conferences?
The YRAs and mentors will receive a regular e-newsletter from the RFU and RWC 2015. They will also be set three challenges each year to encourage their engagement with the programme. These challenges will have some great incentives and rewards linked to them and can be accessed by sharing examples of the work they have done. Great films and RWC 2015/England rugby resources will also be available for the YRAs to download so that they have the latest information at their fingertips.
What “freebies” will the YRAs and mentors get?
We will provide a branded polo shirt for the YRAs and mentors. They will also receive a range of resources that contains all the information they will need to undertake their role.
Will we get priority access to England and/or RWC 2015 tickets?
Unfortunately not. As I am sure you appreciate, tickets for international games and RWC 2015 are often very difficult to access. Hence, we are not in a position to access tickets for games although some other fantastic opportunities will be offered to YRAs and their mentors.
What if some of our YRAs drop out of the programme halfway through?
We accept that some YRAs and mentors will drop out of the programme, but we hope with the club's support and the information and benefits they gain through being a YRA you may be able to retain them in the programme. If YRAs still drop out of the programme and you want to replace them, as long as you are prepared to brief and support them locally, just email their details to YRA2015@rfu.com and we will update the database.
Will the YRA work/voluntary hours be accredited?
Not officially, no, although being a YRA will be great for the young person’s CV or personal statement. It may be possible for the volunteer hours to be used to support other programmes they are involved in locally.