The GAA, FAI, and IRFU have come together and pledged to work together on fostering respect for players officials and volunteers over the next twelve months.

To kick things off during the weekend of 7th and 8th October the three main sporting bodies in Ireland are working together to remind everyone within their games about the values of ‘Respect’ on and off the field.

Each sport has committed this weekend to activities such as fair play awards at adult matches, silent or positive sidelines at youth games and presentations to the parents and coaches on the positive influence they can bring to the games.

‘Respect Our Games’ is the umbrella reference point for the roll out of this positive messaging.

Over 40 percent of the adult population are participating in sport, with an additional 12 percent involved in volunteering and over 30 percent reported as being a member of a club.

Presenting a single message across all three of the main field sports over an initial single weekend will amplify the message that this is an issue which everyone in sport needs to be aware of and continually checking.

“Respect has to be at the heart of our games and activities and this applies not only to Gaelic games but to everyone who organises or who is involved in sport,” said GAA President Larry McCarthy.

“All sport organisations need to bring to life their declaration and commitment to respect and display it at every game.”

“Last year our clubs and counties responded very well to our campaign to underline the importance of match officials and for more to be done on respecting and valuing their contribution to our games.”

“During this year’s inter-county season we promoted a message of respect, tolerance and understanding online. That culture of respect should exist on our sidelines, between our players and volunteers and amongst supporters. When people have a positive experience in our sports they enjoy them more, stay involved longer, and look to give back to their sport as a result.”

“It is a project that will never have a finish line and needs to be a focus beyond one weekend – but our project coordination with the IRFU and the FAI is important because as sporting associations, we have an opportunity, and a responsibility, to set an example and I encourage all our units to step up to this call to action.”

“Respect for referees is a core principle highlighted in our recent #NoRefNoGame campaign and respect for each other has to be a core principle running across the whole of the Irish football community,” added FAI CEO Jonathan Hill.

“We all have a part to play to make sure we act in the right way in all dealings with fellow players, coaches and administrators across the game and accept that as a basic and defining approach to everything we do. We’re delighted to partner with the IRFU & GAA in delivering this coordinated message as we all put the focus on respecting individuals across all elements of our sports.”

“In rugby we are fortunate that there is a long tradition and culture of respect that is rooted in our game,” said IRFU CEO Kevin Potts.

“We do not take for granted the pivotal role of match officials and volunteers in helping our sport to run smoothly and it is imperative that these individuals are treated with the utmost respect.”

“Weekends such as this are essential in keeping these values thriving in our game and I am pleased we are working with the GAA and FAI to deliver this important message.”