MESSAGE FROM CEO: COMMUNITY RUGBY UPDATE
The Union has been working on how - if we are able - to finish off what has been a great community Rugby season to date. On Monday 17/08, we assembled a group of key leaders (reps from COC, Club Chairs, Sec Schools, Junior, Union) that assisted us with the initial return to play plan. We covered off the requirements, principles on how we would approach concluding competitions and gathered some feedback on the potential challenges that will be faced.
Although at this stage we are not able to provide exactly what the plan will be, the key leaders group thought an update message was needed to brief the community on where things are at.
A few key messages at this stage:
- The hope is that we get some more community Rugby to finish the season. This will be subject to ensuring all necessary MoH/NZR guidelines can be met and the availability of grounds due to council restrictions.
- Under level 2, the guidelines will need to be re-established. This include hygiene protocols for people, venues and facilities, requirements for gatherings, match management and contract tracing. The commentary from the group is that it is achievable if we are given enough preparation time post L3.
- Time will be needed to ensure the guidelines can be re-established (and get Union sign off), ensure participants would like to continue, and allow teams to prepare to play from a player welfare perspective i.e. contact training - particularly with our competitive school and senior grades. NZR plan to issue some player welfare protocols next week but our planning is already accounting for this.
- We see the Junior Rugby slightly different to Senior and Secondary under L2 conditions. The rigour required to trace/ manage crowds and kids (training and playing) may mean that this will place too many people at risk. However, a meeting with be held with the Junior Rugby committee to discuss this.
- The main principle that we discussed about trying to achieve in regards to our competitive grades is, at a minimum, aim to complete a full round robin. This ensures everyone has had the opportunity to play everyone once. Following this, we would then look at a final series design given the time left in the year - this will be dictated by council restrictions on ground availability.
- The overriding principle is that the health and safety of our people is at the forefront of our decision making. Furthermore, if a Club or School for whatever reason decide not to play anymore Rugby this season, that is totally understood given the circumstances. There would be no future repercussions.
The plan from here is to re connect with the leadership committees to discuss the points above and come back to the community with an update on the plan.
What can you do right now?
We appreciate it is busy but we would ask that all Clubs and Schools review the document from NZR (AVAILABLE HERE) to refamiliarize yourselves with the requirements for Level 2. Once again Clubs and Schools will be required to be signed off by Union staff. The key points are as follows:
Please contact Nick Mulvaney 027 672 6917 or Bill Wigglesworth 021 742 788 with any queries.
People and community safety, trusting the experts advice, and ensuring the plan meets the needs of our community, will continue to drive our decision making.
David Gibson - CEO