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The CWO Function


The Club Welfare Officer (CWO) is a person appointed by a Club to implement the directions of the National Safeguarding Officer and the Branch Welfare Officers and to follow the IRFU Safeguarding Policy for Age Grade Players. This position is the equivalent of Designated Liaison Person as per ‘Children First Guidance’.


The Club Welfare Officer is the person within a club with primary responsibility for managing and reporting safeguarding concerns about children and for putting into place procedures to safeguard children in the club. They play a key role in ensuring that that members have a safe and positive experience at their club while training, playing and touring. Welfare Officers are key to all members, age-grade players, parents and coaches providing support and following correct procedure if they have a safeguarding concern.


At Coolmine RFC, we have two Club Welfare Officers - Karen Carolan (Club Welfare Officer and Designated Liaison Person), supported by Etain Delaney (Nevin) (Deputy CWO and DLP). 

We can be contacted at


In our roles, we are totally committed to the enjoyment of rugby by young people by creating an inclusive and equal environment that promotes safety, fairness and fun.​ We are here to provide Safeguarding advice and assistance and we are the main point of contact for all Safeguarding matters.


What are the CWO’s Responsibilities?


To achieve a safe environment, there are certain policies and procedures the CWO Team and the club in its entirety adheres to, as Safeguarding is the responsibility of the whole club.


  • We operate to the parameters set out in the IRFU Safeguarding Policy. All coaches receive a copy of this policy once their appointment is approved by the Club Executive each year. Additional copies are available by emailing the CWO Team or also from the Club website.

  • We attend workshops, information sessions and undergo Safeguarding Training, to adhere to the Safeguarding Policy, its guidelines and any further information or requirements put in place by the IRFU.

  • We ensure that all volunteers, who are in regular contact with age-grade players, are registered members of the Club, have valid Garda Vetting and are approved by the IRFU, have completed a relevant Safeguarding Course and are appointed by the Club Executive Committee each season for involvement with Age-Grade Rugby.

  • We work with Age-Grade Coaches, Directors of Youth and Mini Rugby, relevant volunteers and committee members, helping them to understand their role and responsibilities in relation to Safeguarding.

  • We support the IRFU Codes of Conduct to ensure that all members of and visitors to our Club experience a healthy playing environment for all.

  • We encourage and promote the ethos behind “The Spirit of Rugby”.

  • We ensure that the Club Action Plan and Risk Assessment is completed and submitted to the Branch Welfare Officer annually.

  • We have a strict Anti-Bullying Policy which we ensure is followed.

  • We respond accurately and promptly to queries from the IRFU or Statutory Authorities, regarding the welfare of Age-Grade Players, who are members of the club.


What responsibilities fall outside of the CWO’s remit?


  • We are not responsible for creating training policies for age-grade players.

  • We are not responsible for season planning for games for age-grade players.

  • We are not responsible for the planning of each training session, what content it should cover and appropriate timings.

  • We are not responsible for team selection and grading for upcoming games.


The aforementioned responsibilities fall into the remit of the coaching teams. Where their roles and the role of the CWO intersect is to ensure the policies are in compliance with IRFU Club Welfare guidelines so that all children enjoy their time and feel valued within the club, which promotes future retention and participation.


We have a dedicated Club Welfare Noticeboard at the top of the main staircase in the clubhouse where you can find Welfare and Safeguarding information and contact details for ourselves, Leinster Branch and IRFU Safeguarding Personnel.


We wish everyone the very best for the forthcoming Season.



Coolmine Rugby Club subscribes to the IRFU policy on Concussion Management and takes its responsibilities in this regard seriously with all coaches and staff briefed on protocol in managing players under their care with suspected concussion.


All coaches when attending courses at any level within the IRFU must first present a certificate that they have completed the online module of Concussion Management for the General Public here.

Eyewear in Rugby
  • Concussion can have a significant impact on the short and long term health of player if not managed correctly.

  • Concussion MUST be taken extremely seriously.

  • Any player with a suspected concussion MUST be removed immediately from training/play and not returned.

  • All games MUST cease until this is undertaken in a safe manner.

  • Players with a suspected concussion MUST be medically assessed.

  • They MUST not be left alone and MUST not drive a vehicle.

  • There is no such thing as a minor concussion or ‘knock to the head’.


Coolmine Rugby supports all efforts by the Leinster branch and the IRFU to drive awareness amongst players, coaches and parents of the affects of concussion and how it should be properly managed.


The following links will guide you through concussion, what it is, how it affects the player and how it should be treated and managed.

If you have child or member of the family playing rugby with Coolmine Rugby club you MUST familiarise yourself with this information.



Mouthguards or gumshields are typically worn in contact sports to protect the mouth from injury. The purpose of a mouthguard is to distribute the impact of a contact situation evenly throughout the mouth, potentially reducing the chances of injury. 

Previous studies have indicated that the wearing of mouthguards reduces the incidence of 

hard and soft oral injuries, jaw fractures and neck injuries.

Mouthguards in Rugby

World Rugby has approved a game-changing amendment to the laws of the game that will enable the wearing of Raleri rugby goggles at all levels of the game, reaffirming the sport’s commitment to inclusivity.

In line with the international federation’s vision of ‘a sport for all’, approval by Council follows a comprehensive law trial, launched in 2014 after World Rugby identified the need to develop a product that paves the way for greater participation in a safe environment. The IRFU joined the trial in 2016.

In partnership with Italy-based eyewear specialists Raleri, a design was developed to facilitate the inclusion of prescription lenses beyond contact lenses into a device that does not increase the risk of injury to the wearer or to players coming into contact with the wearer. World Rugby also recognises the potential to enable those with limited or no sight in one eye to participate in the sport more comfortably, as demonstrated by the incredible story of Italy international Ian McKinley. 

Anyone interested in the approved goggles should visit

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