MAN UP?

    Coming-of-age sports documentary series featuring ten teenage boys presented by rugby superstar Jordan Conroy

    Broadcasting on RTÉ 2 at 5.30pm from Monday 15 April

    This spring, RTÉ2 will broadcast a series called ‘Man Up?’. This is a unique coming-of-age sports documentary series presented by rugby superstar Jordan Conroy who also acts as mentor, friend, brother and father figure to the ten male teenage participants. In an age where the definition and understanding of what makes a man is questioned, Jordan attempts to guide his charges using his own very personal life experience to a new and modern understanding of what it is to be a man. In fact, the series’ name is a tongue-in-cheek reference to toxic masculinity, and a rebuttal to the exhortation to ‘man up’.

    The series’ participants are ten teenage boys aged 12-14 who have never met before and who have very different personalities and come from different socio-economic backgrounds, classes and cultures. Some are into sports and martial arts, others into gaming and music, still others prefer drama and philosophy, and more besides. Each of them faces their own challenges in everyday life, such as racism, bullying, ADHD, dyslexia, body image difficulties, and parental separation. The one thing they all have in common is their readiness to try something new and their honesty and openness.

    The series is presented by Olympian Jordan Conroy, a first-class player for Irelands’ national rugby sevens team. With over a hundred tries for Ireland, he will represent Ireland in the 2024 Summer Olympics. No stranger to turmoil, Jordon’s own personal journey is an inspirational one, from helping his mother escape an abusive relationship in Germany when he was still a child, to fighting his own inner demons through adolescence. A naturally warm and charismatic man with a true understanding of how difficult life can be, Jordan is the ideal mentor for these young boys as they navigate the challenges the series presents.

    ‘Working alongside these young boys was a wonderful experience. Being able to bond with them through sports and watching them grow closer together as a squad was amazing to watch. They are a credit to themselves. I can’t put into words how much I loved this journey with them,’ says Jordan.

    The series features many special guests including Paralympian table tennis player Colin Judge, boxer Jack Marley, Karen Byrne from Dancing With The Stars, Shelbourne Captain Luke Byrne, gamer Peter ‘Pacbull’ Bull, rower Niall O’Toole, Gaelic footballer Kevin McManamon, and rugby sevens player and Olympian Bryan Mollen. These guests will bring their differing perspectives, motivation and inspiration in each episode to help the boys along their journey.

    Man Up? will start broadcasting on RTÉ 2 & RTÉ Player from April 15 and it will be great opportunity for all the family to gather together, watch and maybe open the door for young boys to finally feel safe and give voice to their feelings. Oh and by the way they also have to learn how to play rounders, organise as a team and play the All Ireland winning team in Croke Park in less than three weeks. No Sweat!