“The WRU must undergo change following a critical report, according to the minister who described it as a pivotal moment.”
A Welsh government deputy minister believes that an unbiased assessment of conduct and customs within the Welsh Rugby Union should act as a turning point for the entirety of Welsh rugby, promoting change.
Individuals who were interviewed for Dame Anne Rafferty’s examination of the union shared their experiences of helplessness and apprehension. The review, which spans 134 pages, characterizes the WRU as an unsteady organization. The investigation was initiated in February after a BBC broadcast raised accusations of discrimination based on race, gender, and sexual orientation within the WRU.
There are a total of 36 suggestions in the report, which address issues such as leadership, how complaints are handled, the union’s stance on inclusion and diversity, and investments in women’s sports. Reported incidents of discrimination include spreading rumors that a female employee got her position through sexual favors, using derogatory language like “hello, sugar t***”, and making offensive comments about women in same-sex relationships.
Dawn Bowden MS, the deputy minister for arts, sport and tourism, released a statement expressing the Welsh government’s support for the report and its suggestions. She hopes that the report will bring about positive changes for Welsh rugby and plans to carefully review it before meeting with the WRU to discuss the recommendations and their impact on the sport.
The WRU has accepted all of the recommendations from the review panel, showing progress in certain areas. Moving forward, the WRU needs to prioritize rebuilding trust with everyone involved in the sport, especially those who have bravely come forward about unacceptable behavior.
As with all sports organizations in Wales, it is expected that the WRU will ensure safe conditions for employees, players, and young individuals involved in the game at all levels. Our goal for the WRU is for this effort to inspire the organization to become a role model and set the standard for fair treatment in all countries and sports.
After the report was released, Richard Collier-Keywood, the chair of WRU, stated that the board and the entire organization have set clear expectations for our culture moving forward. However, simply talking about it is not enough to create a culture – it must be lived and discussed with others to truly understand its significance.
Building trust involves fulfilling your promises and being genuine, honest, and transparent with others.
The four professional regional teams in Wales, namely Cardiff, Dragons, Ospreys, and Scarlets, released a collective statement with the Welsh Rugby Players’ Association expressing their support for the independent review’s conclusions. The statement acknowledged that the professional game in Wales has been advocating for reform for a long time, recognizing the need for change. The teams and association are appreciative of the expert panel’s suggestions.
“It is crucial that these suggestions are promptly put into action, and that the WRU demonstrates strong leadership in addressing the numerous challenges that our game has encountered following the Covid-19 pandemic.”