Quality, Not Quantity
Ulster wanted to capitalise on its unique position as the only Irish province ‘part Ireland, part UK’ by reviewing its Domestic Game operation and maximising the opportunity to use rugby as a vehicle for social change.
- Testing the restructuring of roles and ‘regionalisation’ within the Domestic Game department 12 months on.
- Concerns over excessive workload and the welfare of staff.
- Pursuing new funding and development opportunities to use rugby as a force to improve people’s lives via wider social/health benefits
THE INSIDE TRACK:
We interviewed all staff, key Branch and Committee representatives, constituent schools and clubs, and the Ulster Rugby CEO to find out what was really happening on the ground by testing:
- Perceptions that the environment around the game in Ulster was changing – with players and volunteers increasingly both ‘consumers’ and also ‘time ‘poor’.
- Identifying the reasons young people play rugby was also changing – with a top 3 newly emerging as ‘social’, ‘fitness’, and then ‘competition’.
- Highlighting the fact that a focus on ‘quantity’ and driving participation numbers to deliver KPIs might be less productive than providing a ‘quality’ rugby experience that ensured young players and parents kept returning.
Ulster used the review process to confirm the importance of the domestic game within the province and that its staff restructuring exercise and move to regional working was proving effective. A year later, we returned to develop the Ulster Rugby Development ‘Plan on a Page’ 2017-20 to re-focus workloads on only 5 KPIs – and more specifically, on quality, not quantity rugby.