Great News - Youth Rugby to recommence at SRFC from Sunday 4th October
Please read important letter below from our Youth Chairman - Damian Orton. All existing youth players will have received this letter by email this week - Remember to check your junk.
Dear parents and guardians,
I am pleased to inform you that youth and mini rugby at Sherborne RFC will recommence. We have decided the formal recommencement of Sunday training will be from 4 October. Part of this delay is for children to get used to social distancing measures in schools so they can bring this experience with them to rugby.
The situation remains fluid and the guidance from the RFU of what activities we can undertake has changed twice in the past 5 weeks. The RFU has a 6-stage roadmap for return to full rugby. We have moved from planning for Stage B to now Stage D. I have included links to several of the key RFU directives at the bottom of this note, but in summary our current approach at SRFC is:
- The club house will be open for toilets only, with a one-way route through the building.
- The kitchen, bar and social areas will be closed.
- Everyone is requested to maintain social distancing at all times, except for players who can undertake certain activities under the supervision of the coaches and managers.
- We are to minimise the use of equipment. So that means just balls and occasionally bibs; if a bib is used it will be issued to one child for the whole session and washed afterwards.
- Players will take a break at least every 15 minutes for the balls to be washed, while they can sanitise their hands, hydrate and social distance.
- We shall have buckets and towels pitch-side for each age group, for washing the balls
- Parents are requested to provide sanitiser for their children.
- Players must be discouraged from touching their face at all during drills/games.
- If we use marker cones, then only the coaches should touch them, and then clean them each week.
- All players have to bring their own water bottles.
- Lift sharing should be avoided (guidance is given in the documents below).
- Parents will be expected to check the health of their children before bringing them to rugby (more details below).
- Age groups shall take a weekly register, for track and trace purposes.
- We can play touch rugby but generally have to adhere to distancing guidelines
- The RFU has introduced a new game of touch called Ready4Rugby, each age group can adopt this as they see fit.
- For U6s, 7s and 8s tags cannot be used. These groups will stick to basic fun exercises and introduce touch when they think it appropriate - the details for this are in the Ready4Rugby documents.
- We can play touch matches amongst ourselves, and to a limited amount with other clubs but we don’t intend to introduce the latter immediately.
- Sessions are to be 75 minutes long (60 minutes for 6s/7s/8s), so that’s a 10am start and 1115am finish.
These are the guidelines that we have been planning against (Stage C mostly) until the RFU’s Friday announcement that we can move to Stage D in September (some youth teams are doing midweek practice). Stage D also permits:
- Minor contact practice (15 minutes per session): comprising 1 v 1 tackling below the waist, 2 v 2 rucking practice, and unopposed line out lifting/practice.
- No scrums, mauls, or any tackling above the waist.
- Use of tackle bags or rucking shields only if they are cleaned after contact by each player; so yes, we are generally discouraging their use.
Pre-rugby health checks. You are requested to do the following health check with your children before each session. If they have any of the symptoms then please do not bring them, and adopt the standard NHS practices for monitoring symptoms.
- A high temperature
- A new continuous cough
- Shortness of breath
- A sore throat
- Loss of or change in normal sense of taste or smell
- Feeling generally unwell
- Persistent tiredness
- Been in close contact with /travel from a high risk region/living with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the previous 2 weeks.
Please confirm to the coach or manager in person that you have conducted the checks, and confirm the child has no symptoms. A child arriving at the pitch on their own to confirm their fitness to play cannot be accepted unless they present a written and signed hard copy with that day’s date. In most cases the parent should bring the child to the pitch but it is recognised that some of the 13 to 16 year olds do make their own way to the club; they must bring the necessary paperwork and an example checklist can be printed from this document.
Subscriptions. Our new registrar Lucy Kneller will be writing to you separately about subscriptions for the season. As always, we welcome prompt payment of the subscriptions; otherwise our club volunteers have to spend time hastening them. And I would just like to thank Philippa O’Grady, our outgoing registrar, for the consummate job she has done for us all.
Safeguarding. Sadly our expert safeguarding officer Julie White has moved away from the area, so we would welcome a volunteer to take on this essential club role. Training will be provided.
Links to key RFU directives:
Restarting grassroots rugby – guidance on transport and lift-sharing is on page 7
We look forward to seeing you again this season. As always we welcome more volunteers, whether to help with coaching (both U9s and U6s are looking for extra help), managing teams, or for key roles such as Safeguarding Officer. Please be patient with all our club officials, especially the coaches and managers, they will be doing their best within these challenging circumstances.
Yours in sport,
Youth Chairman SRFC