Competitive Men's Rugby Update

Thursday 26-09-2019 - 16:10

The University of South Wales Students’ Union suspended the activities of men’s rugby due to cumulative unacceptable behaviours. The Students’ Union informed the University, who proceeded with an investigation.

The investigation looked at abusive behaviour, other misconduct, and behaviour incompatible with that expected of all members of the University community.

A decision has been made this week by the Students’ Union Board of Trustees to continue this suspension of competitive men’s rugby union teams for the coming season. 

Whilst the Board of Trustees accepted that individuals had been sanctioned under the University’s disciplinary code, it was clear that there had not been enough time for behaviours to change within the wider group. The Board recognised the need for space to work with the University to develop a collaborative approach to rugby, with the students’ having the opportunity to be at the heart of this process.

The Students’ Union met with all men’s rugby union players earlier today to inform them of the outcome of the Board of Trustees and to outline the next steps.

We understand that this is not the outcome that many had been hoping for, however, we have already received a number of positive responses from men’s rugby players who are pleased to be included in this process.

University rugby courses are not affected and a wide variety of other extra-curricular opportunities are available. 

We are looking forward to engaging with all our rugby-playing students to deliver an enhanced training programme, which will lay the foundations for a strong, values-led player programme in 2020.

The Students’ Union is committed to ensuring that our values of being respectful, accepting, inclusive, and diverse are at the heart of all our work. We uphold the expectations outlined in the Student Charter, which is developed jointly by the University and Students' Union.

We have already delivered values and behaviours training to coaches, team captains, clubs and society committees since the start of the academic year and sessions are ongoing with all new and returning sports participants. We will work with the men’s rugby students to deliver an enhanced training programme around the expected values and behaviours in partnership with an equalities specialist, in addition to a number of other planned activities.

The decision made by the Board of Trustees is supported fully by BUCS. “Abusive and inappropriate conduct is not part of the sporting values or inclusiveness which BUCS promotes and we are heartened by the stance taken by USW to discipline those involved as well as develop an education programme and in-house process which creates the right values and behaviours for their student athletes.”

If you are a student and would like to discuss men’s rugby, or you would like to engage with us to develop the way forward, please contact SU Activities Officer, Ollie Banks
26 September, 16:30: Updated to include a comment from British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS).

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