Return to Play delayed for Bow Valley Rugby Club
July 20, 2020
Statement from Jamie Snowden, President of Bow Valley Rugby Club:
Bow Valley Rugby Club has been working hard to examine the feasibility of delivering a summer/fall rugby program. Taking into account the realities of playing rugby in the community, sadly we have decided to cancel our plans for this summer/fall due to time constraints and health and safety concerns.
If we had managed to have everything in place by August 1st, we could have managed a maximum 8 weeks before the fields close (Town of Cochrane decide when to close the fields in Cochrane) however this is proving a tough ask as we only received the required rugby templates for completion last week. We need to ensure Covid Managers, administrators, coaches, board members and all of our membership are aware of the new protocols and processes required before starting up. We are still formulating new field layouts showing exit and entry points as well as first aid and spectator areas which need to be communicated to everyone along with our Emergency Action Plans and Covid Action Plans; we would have to use Sportlomo for registration and tracking for which we have not yet received training, as well as purchasing of sanitization equipment and signage. Our finished plans would also have to be approved by Rugby Alberta and Rugby Canada before we set foot on the field.
Rugby Alberta’s Return to Play document shows that, at the moment, we are in phase 2, which means 50 people maximum, 2 metre social distancing non-contact activities less than one hour, which means the sessions would have been training only. With the recent spike in Covid cases within Alberta, it could be sometime before we get to the next stage where we can play touch rugby and maybe not at all this year. Added to that the risk that Alberta Health Services could reverse it’s decision and shut down sports again which would mean a financial loss for everyone that registered as fees for insurance are non-refundable once you have set foot on the field.
The safety and well-being of our players and coaches and their families is our top priority so we have to take the time to get it right. We cannot risk rushing ahead and then being shut down because we overlooked something. We will, therefore, continue to work with Rugby Alberta to examine the possibilities for return to play in 2021. At the moment, we can only plan to play outside, however should this change we would hope to be able to get a winter program running at the local sports centre.
Thank you for your understanding. Stay safe and healthy and hopefully we will have some good news to report shortly.