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Warwickshire Rugby Football Union


We wanted to update you on the law changes announced by the Government on Wednesday 9 September in relation to the ban on groups of more than six people meeting socially indoors and outdoors. Although social gatherings of more than six people will be banned in England from Monday 14 September, the Government has confirmed that organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can continue. With the exception of clubs impacted by local lockdown restrictions, we remain at Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap . The rugby community can continue to organise non-contact fixtures with other clubs using Ready4Rugby and other touch rugby activity.
Limited and restricted contact rugby training can also be continued. Detail of the permitted training activity is available in the return to contact training guidance.

Following feedback we are working to see whether guidance on numbers permitted on training areas can be increased to reflect the age of participants. Until we have secured approval for this clubs should follow current guidance of no more than 20 players per half pitch in training.
RFU guidance as well as Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidelines must be followed.
We have worked closely with the Government to gain approval to return to rugby activity and the recent progression to Stage D has been well received with lots of positive impact being reported by clubs. We will continue to have close dialogue with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to progress community rugby activity to the next stage on the roadmap and we will keep you advised of any updates.

Managing visitors

Supporters, parents, and other spectators need to remain socially distanced whilst attending events. From Monday, spectator groups must be restricted to discrete six person gathering limits and spread out, in line with Government Guidelines.
Where it is anticipated that an activity will attract spectators, this includes parents, carers, partners etc, there should be a named person or persons with responsibility for ensuring adherence with these guidelines and ensuring the facility is Covid-19 secure. The person should carry out and publish a risk assessment for the activity which limits the number of spectators and focuses on the need to maintain social distancing on arrival, for the duration of the activity, and on departure.
Arrangements should also be put in place to support test and trace efforts by collecting information from spectators which is detailed enough to allow NHS Test and Trace to contact them if necessary. See the maintaining records guidance for further information.

Ahead of the new rules around social gatherings being introduced next week you may wish to consider:
• Re-visiting your risk assessment to make sure you have double checked everything.
• Check your schedule to allow for a steady through flow of players and spectators.
• Keep reminding spectators to observe social distancing off the pitch.
• Following good practice to collect visitor details for track and trace.
• Consider if you can you do anything to ensure social distancing is observed e.g. making announcements, signposting or introducing time slot.

Groups in clubhouses and hospitality facilities must be restricted to six person gathering limits and spread out, in line with wider government guidance.
High ventilation in indoor facilities is paramount to reducing transmission of Covid-19; keep the facilities well ventilated, for example by fixing doors open and opening windows where appropriate.
If facilities remain closed, exceptions must be made for essential activity such as provision of first-aid or access to essential equipment for the match.

From Monday 14 September, you should let customers know that by law they can only visit in groups of up to six people (unless they are visiting as a household or support bubble which is larger than six). You can read these guidelines below. Until Monday 14 September, the current guidelines for keeping customers and staff safe apply.
The Government has updated the indoor guidance to minimise the risk of transmission and protect the health of customers and visitors to venues. This guidance applies to any food preparation or service setting where food and drink is sold for consumption at venues or for takeaway or delivery.
Here are seven steps to protect yourself, your staff and your customers during coronavirus (Covid-19):

1. Complete a Covid-19 risk assessment. Share it with all your staff. Find out how to do a risk assessment.
2. Clean more often . Increase how often you clean surfaces, especially those that are being touched a lot. Ask your staff and your customers to use hand sanitiser and wash their hands frequently.
3. Ask your customers to wear face coverings where required to do so by law. That is especially important if your customers are likely to be around people they do not normally meet. Some exemptions apply. Check when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own .
4. Make sure everyone is social distancing. Make it easy for everyone to do so by putting up signs or introducing a one way system that your customers can follow. Enable people in the same party who do not live together to remain a safe distance apart.
5. Increase ventilation by keeping doors and windows open where possible and running ventilation systems at all times.
6. Take part in NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of all your customers for 21 days. From 18 September, this will be enforced in law. Some exemptions apply. You can read more about Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace.
7. Turn people with coronavirus symptoms away. If a staff member (or someone in their household) or a customer has a persistent cough, a high temperature or has lost their sense of taste or smell, they should be isolating.

Clubs are reminded that the powers around local restrictions lie with their local authorities. We are advised that unless local restrictions specifically mention restrictions on team sports and/or rugby, clubs should follow the NGB guidelines. Clubs may need to limit their activities in line with any local restrictions and all are advised to consult with the local authority in which their facilities are located should they be in any doubt. Information regarding any new local lockdown restrictions will be posted on the Government website below. We will provide an update to the game if there is any change in guidance to playing rugby union.

Coaching vacancy - see under Coaching. Closing date 11 September 2020.

RFU - GOOD NEWS 28/08/2020
The phased return of community rugby reaches the next step, from Tuesday 1 September, with clubs able to start limited and restricted contact rugby training and organise inter-club non-contact fixtures. This follows the reintroduction of intra-club non-contact rugby union activity at the beginning of August.

The reintroduction of limited contact training has been approved by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (‘DCMS’) and moves the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap from Stage C to Stage D.

The reinstatement of some contact activity is important to ensure players can continue to practice core skills and are able to start preparing and conditioning themselves appropriately as the game starts to return to normality with regular training and matches.

Varied training conditions will allow the return of tackling, lineouts and rucks, ensuring players are prepared to perform these skills safely and effectively with some restrictions. Mauls, scrums, opposed lineouts or upright tackles are still not permissible as the transmission exposure risk remains high. Contact training sessions have to be carried out in small groups of no more than six players. Detail of the permitted training activity is available in the return to contact training guidance.

Within each training session a maximum of 15 minutes will be allowed for all contact training activities (75 minutes being the total maximum time for each session). In the remainder of the training session, players are permitted to undertake socially distanced strength and conditioning activities, small group non-contact skill development drills and/or Touch/Ready4Rugby games (the only other permitted game training activity).

Clubs are also now able to organise non-contact fixtures with other clubs using Ready4Rugby or other Touch formats and should ensure they are appropriately set up and prepared for safely welcoming other clubs and individuals to their venues.

Any return to play and training is a decision for individual clubs to make and they must continue to follow government coronavirus (Covid-19) guidelines, along with any local government lockdown restrictions that may be introduced.

The search for local areas and facilities to host pre-games training camps is underway. Some of the 71 nations and territories taking part in the Games are looking to set up training camps to train and acclimatise ahead of the event – the biggest ever to be held in the West Midlands region !
Reasons To Host Athletes:-
One of the big draws in hosting teams can be an economic boost for the local area, but this is only one of many benefits to hosting. Birmingham 2022 can also raise the profile of the venues and facilities, build or strengthen relationships with Commonwealth nations and offer opportunities’ to avoid repetition to inspire young people from local clubs or the community, who may have a chance to watch training sessions or take part in events.
Birmingham itself has successfully staged pre-games training camps in the past, with USA Track and Field and the Jamaican Athletics Association previously choosing the Alexander Stadium and the University of Birmingham respectively, as locations for their training camps, prior to both the London 2012 Olympic Games and the London 2017 World Athletics Championships.
Any local authority, facility manager or sports club interested in hosting pre-games training camps for whole delegations or single sports teams should email: B2022trainingcamps@dcms.gov.uk

NatWest Rugbyforce will kick things off on September 5 and 6, enabling over 800 clubs to make improvements to their facilities. Now in its 12th year, a record number of clubs are getting involved with the nationwide initiative developed with the RFU. With the programme now able to return safely, NatWest is offering more support for the rugby community than ever before. Grants awarded to clubs have ranged from £500 to £3,000 to help clubs remain sustainable for longer in these challenging times.

Just a week later, we are calling on communities to ‘Pitch Up for Rugby’ and join their local clubs during the weekend of September 12 and 13. There will be action back on the pitch in the form of touch and Ready4Rugby.
Click here for guidance and information on the NatWest Rugby Force and Pitch Up for Rugby weekends, including resources to support.

You can also register for the Pitch Up for Rugby webinar, providing details on how maximise this weekend for your Club. Webinar will be taking place on Thursday 20th August, 19.00.

As you’re all aware, we were able to announce the progression from Stage B to C last Saturday, enabling clubs to now play Ready4Rugby in addition to the non-contact skills based group activity at Stage B, which forms part of pre-season training usually.
Guidance on acceptable training activity is provided in the ‘Guidance on Restarting Competitive Grassroots Rugby’, which can be accessed here. We would encourage coaches and clubs to share their best practice with others. If you have any questions or need clarity – then please forward your question on to the club support email address: clubsupport@rfu.com
One question that has cropped up a number of times already is surrounding ‘intra club’ fixtures, whether this is allowed? Answer below, which I’m sure a number of Clubs will find useful.
‘20 players maximum, therefore the RFU would recommend to keep players in the same bubble. So the 10 would play the same 10 and not another team This reduces the risk of transmission so if there was a positive test / infected player only 19 people would need to isolate rather than 59.’
Subject to satisfactory operation through August of Ready4Rugby, we hope to be able to move to inter-club Ready4Rugby in September. Other Touch Rugby activity (including O2 Touch centres) will also be able to recommence.

Ray's family would like to thank everyone for their kind wishes and the memories of Ray's life, it has meant a great deal.
Following Ray's wishes there will be no formal funeral but we are planning a celebration of Ray's life when the circumstances allow. If you would like to make a donation to Cancer Research UK please use the link link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ray-roberts95
This charity was especially important to Ray, losing his wife to cancer and having two of his four grandchildren requiring treatment for rare cancers over the last 5 years, thankfully, due in part to the work carried out by the charity, successfully.
Many thanks again,
Ian Roberts

Following the government’s publication of a framework for return to recreational team sport, we have been working to accelerate the safe return of community rugby.
Today we can confirm that our action plan to commence a safe and phased return to grassroots rugby activity has been approved by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (‘DCMS’).
The Return to Community Rugby Roadmap has been updated to show a move from Stage B to Stage C.
The rugby community is now able to recommence some larger group rugby activity, initially non-contact, subject to adherence with RFU guidance.
Any return is a decision for individual clubs to make and they must continue to follow government Coronavirus (Covid-19) guidelines, along with any local government lockdown restrictions that may be introduced.
The return will initially be through non-contact rugby focused on Ready4Rugby, a non-contact game, enabling two teams of up to 10 players to engage in training and match activity in their own club environment. Subject to satisfactory operation through August we hope to then be able to move to inter-club Ready4Rugby in September. Other Touch Rugby activity (including O2 Touch centres) will also be able to recommence.

In developing the action plan, the RFU was required to undertake a detailed assessment of exposure risk through face to face contact across both contact and non-contact rugby. Unsurprisingly, the assessment highlighted a significantly increased risk in playing full-contact rugby and hence any form of contact rugby is still not permitted. We will continue to explore and analyse adaptations to the key high risk face to face contact areas and seek to identify safe and appropriate ways to bring these back, initially into training, and subsequently potentially into match play. This will be subject to further government approval and a further statement on this will be made should we reach this point.

I have sent a couple of warnings out already but I have just been told that another ‘Caravan Club’ has entered Nuneaton RFC.See below and make sure you have your club grounds secure.
"They have arrived on our ground, the full article is on Cov Tel website. I haven't personally been down but the police were there to stop more entering. I understand they broke a chain to gain entry. Don't know if you wanted to warn other clubs"

My father Ray, sadly passed away last night (04/08) following a long battle with dementia. He died peacefully in his sleep at Anya Court Care Home in Rugby.
Ray was 95 and started his career in Warwickshire when he came up to Rugby in 1948 to work for the then BTH Company. He initially refereed with the Warwickshire Society, finishing with a knee injury in 1952. Ray joined the Old Laurentians RFC in 1971 and chaired their selection committee for many years. He rejoined the Society in 1985, after my mother Betty died, and became one of our best assessors as well as the Appointments Secretary. When the leagues started he became Secretary of the bottom Warwickshire League and then became the Secretary of the Midlands Division Organising Committee, until his dementia made it to difficult for him to continue. Ray sat on both the WRFU and the RFU's Competitions Committees.
It was Ray's wish not to have a funeral but we are planning a suitable memorial at a date when we can all meet safely together.
Ian Roberts

In line with many other NGBs of sport, we have submitted our action plan to government in an effort to accelerate the return of some rugby activity. We are awaiting approval of this and hence we currently remain at Stage B on our Return to Community Roadmap. This means the only activity permitted is socially distanced non-contact activity in maximum group sizes of 6. For avoidance of doubt, this means no scrum training, tackle training or any other form of contact rugby and also means that touch and tag activity is not permitted. Any breach of this may invalidate insurance and is in breach of both RFU and government regulation. Clubs in enhanced lockdown areas must also comply with any additional local restrictions.

As stated above, we are at Stage B on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. We have to reach Stage F (which will not be reached until at least four weeks after Stage E) before full contact competitive league rugby can commence. As a result of the current position, the adult league season (Level 3 & below for men, Level 2 & below for women) will not commence in September. Unless there is a dramatic improvement in the prevalence of the virus in the community, the next announcement about when league rugby will commence for these levels will be on 1 September. The fixtures previously published will be amended at the earliest opportunity and this will be communicated to clubs.

As the official legal partner to England Rugby, Irwin Mitchell have taken over the Legal and Tax Helpline. The support also includes an online legal document service, including documents such as employment agreements and privacy notices for your club’s website.
The new legal and tax helpline number is 0333 0100337.
Register to access the legal document service here: https://www.irwinmitchell.com/england-rugby/legal-portal

WARNING TO CLUBS 21/07/2020.
Just advising you to be on the alert as we have just been informed that a ‘Caravan Club’ has been turned back trying to get illegal entry on to one of our member clubs in South Warwickshire

It is with great personal regret that I have to inform you of the sad passing of Charlie Stewart from the Barkers Butts club.
Most of you will have known Charlie over the years and will have your own fond memories of him.
I am proud to say that I knew him well having played against many a time over the years and also sharing the same evenings with him post-match. We also met on many other social occasions including one memorable weekend in Dublin.
As it says on the ‘Barkers’ website he is a huge loss to their club and the rugby community as a whole. Charlie was literally larger than life, with an unforgettable laugh that would brighten any room. A fantastic person on and off the field who will be sorely missed. Sending all our love to Steve, Rebecca and all the family.
May He Rest In Peace
Charlie McGinty

The government has announced a framework for the return of recreational team sport which is applicable from Saturday 11 July. This is a welcomed development and a positive step towards the return of some form of competitive rugby. The framework was developed following discussions with other team sports, Sport England and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The next step is for the RFU to develop it's own rugby action plan, based on the framework, specifically considering the Coronavirus transmission risk and demonstrating mitigations and any adaptations to the game that are required. This will need to be agreed to by government, PHE and HSE before it can be implemented within clubs. Due to the intrinsic nature of rugby and the proximity of participants, it is recognised that there is the potential for an increased risk of droplet transmission. Working with expert medical advice and applying the activity exposure framework to various formats of rugby, we will update following our discussions with government. In the short term, it is likely that the format of rugby the community game is able to play will be a modified version, not the full 15-a-side game.

We will update the game as to when it can move to the next stage of the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap in the coming weeks. For now we remain at Stage B of the roadmap.

Under previously announced guidance, Premiership Rugby clubs moved to Stage 2: Elite Sport Return to Training Guidance on Monday 6 July, which allows for the resumption of close contact training. This involves a detailed set of protocols and includes a COVID-19 testing programme. Championship and Premier 15s clubs are eligible to return under the elite guidance should they chose to do so, or can follow the community return to rugby roadmap.

We will continue to provide updates to the game throughout the process. Please click below to remind yourself of the RFU's Return to Community Rugby Roadmap and read the latest framework for the return of recreational team sport announced by the government.

WARNING 28/06/2020.
This is just a warning to all clubs that to be especially vigilant as to the fact that there seems to be at least one mobile ‘caravan’ club that have gained access without permission to at least one of the clubs in the South of the County. They have caused considerable problems for the club concerned in regards to their removal and clean up after they have left in regards to sanitisation etc.

Our second window of RFU Emergency Loans will be opening very shortly, criteria remains the same and we encourage Clubs to utilise if they are facing financial difficulty in the coming months prior to September. Please signpost Clubs to the Loans section on the website: https://www.englandrugby.com/participation/running-your-club/coronavirus/loans

If any Clubs do wish to discuss the loan further, please feel free to contact our Area Facilities Manager; Chloe McMorran.

RFU 09/06/2020
Disclosure and Barring Service application process to recommence on Wednesday 1 July.
Following discussions with the Disclosure and Barring Service, we have decided that it will re-open the DBS system on Wednesday 1 July. As many sports and physical activities are resuming, as well as education settings, we believe we should provide RFU members, as well as the Disclosure and Barring Service, with notice of a restart date in order to manage an anticipated increase in applications.
Clubs can now prepare for this re-opening in a number of ways:
• Clubs can prioritise those in the children’s workforce whose applications have expired, or who are new applicants ready for ID verification, and applications can be submitted from Wednesday 1 July.
• Clubs should carry out a safer recruitment process for new applicants including use of the volunteer forms to assess their suitability to work/ volunteering with children. The volunteer form can be found here.
• Club Safeguarding Officers and other ID verifiers should ensure that they have ready access to the DBS E Bulk system i.e. their account is active and password is known. If not, please contact dbseapp@rfu.com

Please note that Regulation 21 remains in force and clubs must not engage anyone, or appoint a volunteer, to work with children on a paid or voluntary basis who is not DBS cleared. While following social distancing guidelines, ID verification must take place in person.
While awaiting their DBS disclosure certificate, a person may temporarily work on a paid or voluntary basis with children provided that they are actively supervised at all times by a person who is DBS cleared by the RFU. This will apply to those who submitted applications prior to the cessation of the DBS process and who are still awaiting a certificate, as well as those applications submitted on and after Wednesday 1 July.
Any activity with children must follow the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap and comply with Regulation 15.8 ‘Season and Out of Season Activity’.
We expect all those involved in Age Grade Rugby to respect the principles in the Age Grade Codes of Practice and to comply with RFU Safeguarding Policy.
The welfare of children is paramount at all times. For any further help or support, please contact safeguarding@rfu.com

RFU 09/06/2020
Coaching risk assessment.
We have produced a Coaching Risk Assessment Template to support clubs with their return to play. As the government’s phased return of sport roadmap progresses, further risk assessments and guidance will be made available. Click below to read the risk assessment and access the roadmap for a return to community rugby that was published last week.


Please be aware that RFU staff (RDO's and CRC's) have been furloughed at this time, a return date is not yet known. The Social media accounts that they run may not be monitored.

W3C WAI-AACoventry Chamber
Warwickshire Rugby Football Union | C/o Broadstreet RFC, Ivor Preece Field, Rugby Road, Binley Woods, Coventry, CV3 2AY
Tel: 07801 869730 | Email: cmcginty@eircom.net
VAT Number: 729 7458 78 |