Back to Rugby!

We hope your children are raring to play rugby again this weekend, at the start of the new season! 

But we ask that you please read through and act upon this summary of important new COVID-19  protocols and risk mitigations.  We have been planning with the coaches for the return, reviewing official guidance, completing our risk assessment, modifying training activities and preparing for additional hygiene measures, and the resulting key points are as below. These may be amplified with squad-specific guidance from your respective head coaches. Sorry if it all sounds a bit onerous, but if we follow this then the minis can have fun in a close-to-normal training session! 

1.       Training for all age groups is on this weekend, starting at normal times, so a 9:30am start at BEST on Saturday morning for the Minis and 10am Sunday for Juniors at Barn Elms. Note that start times may possibly be amended or staggered in subsequent weeks depending on numbers attending, in order to provide more space. You will be separately advised for applicable squads if this is the case;

2.       We are following the RFU Road Map for a return to rugby, on which we are now at Stage D;

Before coming to training you must please:

a.       This season please confirm your child’s Availability for the weekend’s training event on the Teamsnap app  – simply indicate them as “Going” with a green tick for this weekend under “availability” for this event . That way, we will have a good record of attendance for track and trace purposes, which is a requirement for training to take place, and to organise  training groups. Don’t be surprised if your squad manager also takes a register of attendance at training as a back up, butit will be simplest for all if we all use this availability function;

b.      Complete the very short Health Self Assessment for your child on Teamsnap on the morning of training, before setting out. This asks you to confirm key questions that they are well, not showing any COVID symptoms, and not required to self-isolate as a result of a positive test in the family groups etc, or quarantined. Clearly if family members do show any COVID symptoms, or you are quarantined as a result of recent travel, we obviously need you not to come to Barnes training. You can find the Team Health check by logging into Teamsnap, looking up this weekend’s training event under Schedule, and under “event detail” you will see a Team Health check, which will only be available to open on the morning of training. If you cannot find this, but are in the clear on the above questions and not unwell, come along and we will help you at training;

c.       Do not feel under pressure to return to rugby at this time – we fully understand that some may not be ready to return, for example, if shielding a family member at higher risk;

d.      Ensure players are in clean kit, with hands washed just before they leave home;

e.      Bring normal equipment: water bottle (ideally labelled); boots (although the ground is hard, so they may stay in trainers this week); and mouthguard for Under 9 and above. Apart from the very youngest groups (U5/6), we discourage any snacks this season, for hygiene reasons.

f.        Maintain social distancing until training starts.

g.       Please brief your child on these Player Commitments which coaches will reinforce to KEEP EVERYBODY SAFE;

                                                              i.      I will keep to my allocated training group and not mix with players from other groups while at Barnes training

                                                            ii.      I will tell my coaches or parents if I feel unwell while at training

                                                          iii.      I will not play any contact rugby or tackle other players, including before and after training, except under coach supervision

                                                           iv.      I will not share water bottles or snacks with friends

                                                             v.      I will not join group huddles or games involving contact

                                                           vi.      I will wash my hands thoroughly before and after training

                                                         vii.      I will use the hand sanitiser provided at breaks in training

                                                       viii.      I will try not to touch my face during training

                                                           ix.      I will not touch or remove my mouthguard between sanitiser breaks

                                                             x.      I will use the rugby kit, including balls allocated to my group only, as instructed by my coaches

                                                           xi.      I will remember the Rugby values:


 At training:

a.       Avoid large groups around the pavilions – go straight to your age group where you will be allocated (if not advised in advance) to a training group of no more than 20 players, for example, Under 11 “A” group (the groups will usually be mixed ability, the “A” or “B” etc  does not mean anything else). Players will stay with that group or “bubble” only, and its allocated coaches, throughout training, and will not mix with other training bubbles in the same age group.

b.      Please listen to your coach’s briefing. Distancing should be maintained before training, during briefings, breaks and warm ups.

c.       Understand that kit in use will be limited and contact rugby is generally not permitted – so no tackling. The exception is that under 9s and above may engage in smaller group limited contact training for short spells, but only as your coach will direct. But there will be no scrums or mauls, for example;

d.      Under 8s and below will not be playing their normal tag rugby – but rather,  a touch format instead;

e.      Hand sanitiser will be available for players to use regularly;

f.        Please do not touch the kit provided eg the spare balls not in use, cones etc;

g.       Leave any required  first aid and player assistance to parents, designated first aiders and medically-trained personnel;

h.      Most groups, aside from the very youngest, will play games in the new Ready4Rugby  format designed to provide a standardised touch rugby format emphasising development of key skills;

i.         Follow instructions for regular hand sanitising breaks;

j.        Parents: please remain in designated zones and do not mix with the playing squads generally. And note: the BEST café will be takeaway only, there will be no kit shop open at training on Saturday (use the online “click and collect” process to order new kit), not hot dogs after training  for all minis / juniors en masse;

k.       Note that training is likely to end a little earlier than normal, as total training times are limited at the moment;

l.        The online kit shop can be accessed here

m.    There is a strict NO DOGS policy at BEST;

After training:

a.       Maintain social distancing from the end of training, including stopping  the children playing games, sharing rugby balls etc with other players;

b.      Keep any training bib your child has used and been asked to take home, wash it and return it next week;

c.       Should adults or children present at training subsequently show any COVID-19 symptoms, or be required to self-isolate as a result of family members showing symptoms, please contact your applicable squad manager without delay, so that we can take any appropriate actions in consultation with the health authorities;

d.      Note that there will be no inter-club fixtures for the time being. We are able to organise limited inter club ready4rugby matches now, but intend to wait until the new protocols are working and we can review the other clubs’ risk assessments etc,

If you want to read more detail on all the above, see the RFU Road Map or the Ready4Rugby format.

Have a great weekend!

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