I hope this finds you well and dodging the Omicron!
Sadly it seems that no sooner than we were establishing a pattern and rhythm to our Rugby than another speed bump is put in our way. As you will have seen in the whatsapp that I sent out, the RFU have adjusted their advice and have also given some supplementary information on the Community Game. Unfortunately, there are no definitive rules on what we can and cannot do in the rugby club environment other than those applying to the hospitality industry, so its down to our common sense and personal appetite for risk. Certainly, some clubs are revising their plans for Mini Christmas ‘gatherings’ and also Rugby Camp providers are adapting their packages to reduce risk of transmission by removing contact and keeping events outdoors.
From a CRFU perspective we can only echo government and RFU advice and I am sure that those clubs with medical professionals among parents and players will seek their advice and opinion and formulate their response accordingly. I just wish we could be more proscriptive as that would reduce ambiguity. If anyone wishes to discuss their plans/ideas or concerns then please don’t hesitate to contact me. Often it is just the conversation that provides the elusive clarity of thought!
First Aid Courses
CRFU have approved the staging of four more courses in 2022 so that demand can be met. The dates as agreed with the provider are:
I have not nominated particular locations as yet as I wanted to gauge demand so that we can minimise travel, but ideally I would like to have a couple in the west and a couple in the East of the county. I appreciate that one club might not be able to fill all slots so will backfill any spare slots with applicants from adjacent clubs where possible. So, the Christmas challenge is to identify appropriate dates and get your bid in quick – certainly in good time for the 30 Jan!!
As you may be aware, RFU were seeking to mandate EFAs but there has been some pushback from other counties which is leading them to re-examine. From a CRFU perspective this is disappointing as both the CB and clubs have devoted a lot of time and energy to be ready for the rule change at beginning of 2022/23. There is continuing discussion and the RFU council will decide in the New Year. The CRFU stance is support the proposal to mandate it as then there is no ambiguity and everyone can be comfortable that appropriate provision is in place at all levels of the game. The RFU have issued a consultation at https://forms.office.com/r/zhg0zhUnsi Can you please complete this online questionnaire for RugbySafe leads by 7 Jan. Whatever happens, the guidelines will remain, so please take advantage of the First Aid courses which after CRFU rebate work out at £25 per successful attendee. Probably the best Christmas bargain ever!!!
In the link above it mentions GMS. I know this is a far from ideal administrative tool but it does enable RFU to analyse the functioning of the game. One of their pushes this season has been to ensure that the RugbySafe element of GMS is up to date and that the contents accurately reflect the activities of the club. Ideally, club RugbySafe leads should have the permissions to access this area and update as appropriate. A couple of audits show that as Cornish clubs we are not doing particularly well in this regard. I have not been too bothered for the first half of the season as just getting teams on the pitch has been of more importance. Nonetheless, in the New Year I will be auditing our records. It is not too much of a hardship to complete and certainly the First Aid Risk assessment and associated Medical Emergency Action Plans (MEAPs) are the most important as these are essential for clubs to complete. I am on hand to assist and answer questions but probably the first thing is to ensure you have the necessary permissions to access this part of GMS so please chase up whoever is your GMS guru to allow you to explore the system.
Just a reminder that I have some Headcase materials and have sent out a rejigged and more legible Graduated Return To Play (GRTP) table. For info, all CRFU First Aid bags have a laminated copy of this inside the bag along with the RugbySafe toolkit. I have attached both for interest/use. Please continue to educate players, coaches, committee members, supporters and parents (everyone!) on this increasingly significant aspect of the game. Despite a lot of effort, there is still a lot of ignorance based on old wives tales and historical practices which is being highlighted in reports back from matches. Please reinforce that if there is any doubt as a players fitness to play, there is no doubt and they should be removed from play and not allowed to return. Furthermore, supervision should be exercised and post-match beers should be discouraged as well as ensuring that driving after a blow to the head may be impaired.
Anyway, that is enough from me except to wish you all a great Christmas and that you get the gifts you want!!
Kindest regards and see you in the New Year
Bob Hubble | CRFU RugbySafe Lead
firstname.lastname@example.org | 07980 600565