Rugby Americas North (RAN) and its member unions are committed to player welfare at all levels of the game, including the wellbeing and safety of vulnerable children and adults.

In addition to World Rugby Regional Associations Asia Rugby and Oceania Rugby, RAN is pleased to highlight a new initiative with ChildFund Rugby aimed at further developing and strengthening safeguarding systems for all participating in rugby throughout North America.

At a time when face-to-face activities and interactions in sport have seized due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the online learning pilot project aims to ensure that all participants engaging in rugby across the region will benefit from a safer environment both physically and emotionally. The inaugural pilot project has worked with staff from RAN and three member unions: Barbados, Mexico, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Through the Safeguarding in Sport: Online Learning Pilot Project, ChildFund Rugby provided  resource templates, supporting participating staff to understand what is required in order to begin developing and implementing safeguarding systems that are in line with international good practice.

ChildFund has been a pioneer organization of the International Safeguards for Children in Sport since 2014 and is an awardee of the UNICEF Safeguarding Children in Sport Award at the Beyond Sport Global Awards in 2017.

Working in partnership with RAN, along with three other national governing bodies, the pilot project has involved:

  • Identifying safeguarding priorities through a self-assessment process that will allow progress to be tracked over the project and beyond.
  • Help define key safeguarding terms to ensure consistency of understanding in line with international best practice.
  • Develop a Safeguarding Code of Conduct to define behavioural expectations for all involved.
  • Create a safeguarding reporting resource to ensure that everyone knows where to report concerns so appropriate action can be taken.
  • Build a social services map so that organizations are aware which specialist service providers are available in the community to support with safeguarding concerns.

As the pilot project develops within the initial three pilot Unions, RAN will work with all its members to make certain that appropriate safeguarding policies and procedures are in place.

“We recognize that safeguarding is an important measure to take within our sport,” said Erin Kennedy, RAN’s Regional Development Manager.

“Working with ChildFund Rugby has given us a number of tools and resources to support our members so that they can keep all participants in rugby safe. Rugby should be a safe place for everyone to participate and we know that taking these measures will help in ensuring that.” 

For more information on RAN’s Safeguarding policies and procedures, please visit

More about ChildFund Rugby:

ChildFund Rugby provides children and young people with opportunities to play, learn and grow. 

Under ChildFund Australia’s guidance, all rugby development programs contribute to achieving gender equality, reducing inequality, and ending violence against children, reflecting targets within the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

ChildFund is recognised as a Pioneer Organisation within the International Safeguards for Children in Sport, which ensure that children are physically and emotionally safe across sport. We undertake work with sports partners around the globe to ensure that the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults in sport is a priority.

ChildFund Australia is an independent international development organisation that works to reduce poverty for children in developing communities. It is a member of the ChildFund Alliance, a global network of 12 organisations which assists almost 23 million children and their families in 70 countries.

For more information, please visit