The province is broken into four areas and the report for each is as follows.
1. North Munster
" This was their third official season. Again the Fixtures/Info booklet was issued giving all the details with a full fixture list for all five age groups.
" Old Crescent RFC Under 12's represented the area at the National Blitz in Blackrock County Dublin on 6th Oct. They played well and fully entered into the spirit of the blitz.
" October 6th IRFU launched National Mini Rugby Coaching Course
" We held a two day Mini rugby coaching course in Thomond Park. This was organised by John Lacey and 38 out of the 40 applicants attended. The feedback was very positive and we hope to have two more courses next season
" We held a multi club display game for the Under 12's on Thomond Park on the day of the Munster v Bourgoin Heineken Cup game on 31st January. All sixteen clubs were represented and the large attendance was very supportive of the boys in their game and lap of honour afterwards.
" The 2nd Brian Fitzgerald Memorial Blitz Competitions 18/4/04
i. Age Group - Under 12 The competitions were held in Thomond Park with a very good turn out from the local clubs. We had a total of fourteen clubs present with sixteen teams competing. Plate Final - St.Mary's 3 Newport 2 Shield Final - Young Munster 2 Garryowen 0
ii. Brian Fitzgerald's wife, parents and extended family were in attendance for both finals. Alice his wife along with his parents Martin and Bridie, brother Ger and son Aaron presented both trophies and medals to all four teams who competed in the finals. At the presentations our chairman Paul Broderick thanked the Fitzgerald family and in particular Alice, Martin and Bridie for supporting the competitions. The clubs competing are to be commended for entering into the spirit of Mini Rugby and both competitions were played in the true spirit of the game. Paul also thanked St. Mary's RFC for their commitment to ensuring that this event happened. Paul stressed that this event would not have taken place at HQ but for the full backing of the Youth and Senior Committee's of the North Munster Branch and Declan O'Brien of the I.R.F.U. and for that we are most grateful.
" The AGM for this area was held on Tuesday 4th May in the Limierick Institute of Technology. There were over fifty coaches there and the following officers were elected:
Chairperson : Paul Broderick (Young Munster RFC) Vice-Chairperson; Seoirse Clancy (Bruff RFC) Secretary: Vinny Leonard (Shannon RFC) PRO: Mick McLoughlin (UL Bohemians RFC) Club Day Coordinator: John Airey (St. Mary's RFC) Fixtures Facilitator: Aidan McDermott (Ennis RFC)
The matter of the AGM business was done efficiently and promptly which allowed us ample time to discuss our future with selected topics from the running committee. This was a very positive meeting with new ideas coming from the floor which we hope to introduce next season we have elected a new position of Fixtures facilitator. This position is chosen to enable us to coordinate with representatives from each age group the dates, fixtures, facilities etc for next season for all five age groups
Following its initial AGM in 2003 an agreed set of fixtures for the season were issued to the 25 clubs in the region. While there was a high level of participation among clubs, some clubs will need more support from stronger clubs.
The Committee acted as liaison for the branch coaching staff in setting up the Mini Rugby Coaching course at Ballincollig in January'04 this was attended by 35 people. A half-time exhibition game with players from 20 clubs in the region was put on at the Munster v Edinburgh Celtic League fixture on 16th April'04 in Musgrave Park, with the help of our colleagues from North Munster four of the remaining clubs ran a similar exhibition at Thomond Park for the Munster V Connaught fixture on 7th May.
At South Munster's AGM held on 18th May a new Committee was elected, thank was expressed to Eugene Brennan, Dan O'Duffy and Peter O'Rourke who stepped down, elected for the incoming season were
Veronica Scanlan (Sundays Well) John Madden (Highfield) Eugene Byrne (Cork Constitution) Conor O'Connell (Old Christians) Michael Mc Swiney (Ballincollig) Stephen Maslin (Skibbereen) Paul Simpson (Midleton)
At the AGM it was decided to include more multi-club blitz days in the season ahead and thereby increasing the numbers of games played by the children involved. Finally we would like to thank all who have given us support, guidance and assistance in this our inaugural year and hope to continue the growth into the future.
3. West Munster
The Mini Rugby Provincial committee officers were invited to a meeting in Castleisland RFC to discuss Mini Rugby Development for West Munster. Mick McLoughlin and Paul Broderick attended their Youth Committee (April 19th 2004) along with some non committee coaches were there.
It was a very open meeting and it became very obvious to all that the Rugby people in West Munster are very anxious to get a working formula for their Mini Section. Their enthusiasm came clearly through and reminded the invited officers of the get together with club mini delegates in Limerick four years ago.After a long discussion outlining what was done in North Munster and listening to the West's opinions Muiris Horgan who chaired the meeting decided to go forward as follows; Patrick Roche was selected to act a chairman for the initial period and a second person was nominated as Secretary but was not present but those present are hopeful this person will agree to join Patrick.
These two will endeavour to contact all Clubs in the area and get all the coaches names, addresses, and phone numbers etc of those presently coaching the mini game in the area. When this is done we will meet all involved to plan for next season. It was proposed that West Munster should approach next season with the following plan. 1. Officially form committee with a delegate from each club. These delegates should represent the mini game only and not be a Youth delegate as well.
2. Estimate the number of players per age group per club. This would be critical in planning a fixture list.
3. Seek 25 to 30 people to attend a Mini Coaching Course for late August early September
4. Draw up a fixture list for next season using the North Munster Fixture system as a guide.
5. Print fixtures/Information booklet
6. Launch booklet in early September using high profile Munster players i.e. Mick Galwey, Alan Quinlan for example
7. Make contact with local press and request an official weekly/monthly slot in their editions. Also local radio should be used on a regular basis
8. Seriously consider appointing Mick Galwey as the Patron of Mini Rugby in West Munster
9. Request YDO and RDO assistance for on going development from the start of next season In the meantime we asked Patrick Roche to attend our N.Munster Mini Rugby AGM/Forum in Limerick next week. Hopefully a second person from the west will attend and it would be a great opportunity for them to listen to what the coaches in the North have to say after three seasons of organised Mini Rugby.We stressed to all that the Mini provincial committee is more than willing to make themselves available for their next meeting.
4. East Munster
Similar to West Munster the Provincial committee was invited to the east by Mike Guinan and Donal Flannery from the East Youth Committee. They wanted to have an open meeting with all the clubs in the area with a view to putting a formal structure in place for the East.
As with the West Mick and Paul attended a meeting in Cashel RFC on May 19th. It was a very open meeting with the general consensus that mini rugby be put on formal and official footing. It was suggested that the East consider a plan for next season identical to the one proposed for the West. It was proposed by John Cross (Cashel RFC) and seconded by John Cooney (Kilfeacle RFC) that a separate Mini rugby Committee be formed to administer and run the game there.
This would be done in the next couple of weeks and then this committee would ask the Provincial committee to attend their first official meeting to assist in putting structures in place. Since that meeting Mike Guinan has asked the Provincial committee to attend their AGM in Clanwilliam RFC on Monday 14th June. This meeting will could also be used to get the provincial delegates together for their AGM as well as assisting the East with Mini rugby
Report completed by
Mick McLoughlin Secretary, Munster Mini Rugby Committee, I.R.F.U.