Role of CRFU in RugbySafe
Each RFU constituent body has their own unique playing and operating environment and Cornish rugby is no different. Therefore the aim of the CRFU is to assist each individual club to engage with the concept of RugbySafe whilst simultaneously ensuring that the core values of the game are preserved through helping participants at all levels of the game, both on and off the pitch, develop a pragmatic and manageable Rugby safety culture that extends to all teams and officials. The intent is that all practices and supporting documentation are simple, user friendly and easily updated so that RugbySafe as applied to Cornish Rugby is a living tool designed to assist clubs in support of their players, supporters and administrators.
The RugbySafe representative on the management board has a remit to engage with clubs and the RFU to develop and maintain the CRFU RugbySafe strategy.
Practical assistance to clubs
The RFU has a plethora of documentation on it various websites that refer to RugbySafe which are often difficult to find and less easy to understand. The intent is that these pages will be the first point of referral and will contain the appropriate links and also the sharing of best practice from clubs both within the CB and elsewhere. These will be under headings as below.
The RugbySafe First Aid & Immediate Care guidelines produced by the RFU is a comprehensive document that gives a basis for clubs to establish appropriate levels of care for players. The important consideration is that the provisions of Regulation 9 are met by all clubs.
First aid courses are primarily booked by clubs but CRFU is looking to have at least 2 courses per season so that smaller clubs can access the training and meet the RugbySafe criteria. These will be promulgated on the CRFU website.
The First Aid page of the website has links to RFU resources which should provide generic answers to most questions. All clubs and circumstances are different so, for example, there are occasions where medical professionals who do not necessarily have the appropriate RFU qualifications wish to use their skills in support of a club or team. In these and other instances, the club RugbySafe lead can contact the CRFU RugbySafe representative for additional guidance and support.
Injury reporting is an important feature of RugbySafe and club administration. Injuries do occur and clubs have a duty to report these to Twickenham and CRFU. Reportable injury events are defined as:
- An injury which results in the player being admitted to a hospital (this does not include those that attend an Accident or Emergency Department and are allowed home from there).
- Deaths which occur during or within 6 hours of a game finishing.
- Clubs are also required to report injuries in which artificial grass pitches or equipment such as sports goggles are involved.
In the event of a serious injury occurring, which fulfils one of the above definitions, once the injured person has been taken to hospital:
- The Club RugbySafe Lead or Team Manager must phone the RFU Injury Reporting Helpline 0800 298 0102, or email as soon as the seriousness of the player’s condition is confirmed and certainly within 48 hours of the game or training session.
- The Club RugbySafe Lead or Team Manager should complete and return an Injury Report Form, with a copy sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to the provisions under the safeguarding aspects of rugby, player welfare is a traditionally less considered aspect of the game but with greater awareness in society and specifically focussed programmes, mental health is as much a part of player welfare as hot showers, post protectors and a good supply of training and playing kit. Player welfare is a wide ranging aspect of RugbySafe widely encompassing aspect of the game and every club will have its own solution to it own situations. The aim of the CRFU is to provide a forum for clubs to share those solutions.
The following links are not exhaustive and suggestions for more are welcomed.
CB RugbySafe Transistion protocols – Click here
Mental Health and Well-Being – https://keepyourbootson.co.uk/rugbysafe/mental-health-and-wellbeing/
Mental health in coaching – https://www.ukcoaching.org/resources/topics/expert-opinions/mental-health
Risk assessments are a thorny subject in all industry and rugby clubs are no exception. The main problem is that they are only really valid for the circumstances prevailing at the time of completion and unless regularly updated become static and lack the agility to adapt to the type of changing circumstance occurring in a rugby club.
However, in order to meet legal obligations and RFU requirements, there has to be a framework for clubs that assists them in identifying potential and real hazards whilst articulating mitigating or preventative measures supported by dynamic risk assessments. This is further complicated by the varying nature and resource of clubs ranging from those with professional full or part time administrators to village sides struggling to put out teams. CRFU is acutely conscious that the administrative burden must be such that it assists, rather than hinders clubs in their endeavours.
The aim of CRFU RugbySafe is to help clubs develop an appropriate safety culture that identifies risk and takes action in support of a club structure through the guided compilation of a risk assessment document that forces clubs to actively examine their unique circumstances and develop mitigations as a baseline followed up by routine checklists or procedures that facilitate the dynamic risk assessment immediately prior to a match or training session or event. Equally, by getting players of all ages to take part in the dynamic risk assessment there are more eyes analysing risk which in turn accelerates the development of an engaged and proactive safety culture in the clubs.
The following links may be of assistance.
- First Aid risk assessment (Own document)
- RFU Risk Assessment – http://englandrugbyinsurance.co.uk/risk-assessment
- RFU Risk assessment tool – http://englandrugbyinsurance.co.uk/risk-assessment-tool
CRFU has several representative teams at all ages which are administered by CRFU appointed personnel whose responsibilities are to apply RugbySafe concepts in training and matches. In this respect, the CRFU behaves in the same manner as a club and in this case the RugbySafe lead becomes the CRFU RugbySafe representative who liaises with the particular team managers and representative committee to ensure that the RugbySafe concept are just a much a feature of representative rugby as with the constituent clubs.