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Community Rugby In The Bay Enters Phase One: Prepare To Play

Saturday, May 16, 2020
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With the New Zealand Government taking the country to Alert Level 2, we are moving a step closer to being able to play some rugby this year.  The Bay of Plenty Rugby Union has implemented a three phased, “Return To Play” process.
 
Phase One: Prepare To Play
 
We are currently in the Prepare To Play phase.  The Govt intends to review the size of small gatherings number (currently 10) on Monday 25th May and as a result, New Zealand Rugby has instructed that no trainings can take place before Monday 25th May.
 
During this phase, all clubs will be required to write a Covid-19 Safety Plan and submit this to the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union for sign off before you will be allowed to commence training, open your club rooms for rugby purposes and take the field in pre-season and competition games.
 
New Zealand Rugby has kindly produced a number of resources to assist our clubs in writing this (click on links)

Return To Rugby Requirements.
Return to Training Requirements.
Contact Tracing Guidelines for Clubs.
Contact Tracing Register.
Clubrooms Checklist.
 
Full information can be found https://www.nzrugby.co.nz/news-and-events/covid-19/
 
New Zealand Government have also produced a range of posters for use by businesses and clubs.  These can be found https://covid19.govt.nz/resources/posters/#posters-for-businesses
 
While we understand that some of our clubs have already started preparing your Covid-19 Safety Plans and taking into account all of the information provided by the govt, Sport NZ, NZ Rugby and now BOPRU, we realise that for some of our clubs, the production of a Covid-19 Safety Plan will be an arduous task and a large responsibility to place on our volunteers.
 
To assist our clubs, the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union has written a Covid-19 Safety Plan TEMPLATE for Return To Training. This will allow our clubs to adapt this template to their own clubs specific needs, resources and personnel and submit as soon as they are able to. 
 
It is also our intention to also create two more templates for clubs to use:
Covid-19 Safety Plan for Opening Your Clubrooms (due out 21 May)
Covid-19 Safety Plan for Returning To Play and Hosting Games At Your Club (due out 28 May).
 
We’ve deliberately chosen to provide templates in phases to make the task of submitting plans back to us easier for clubs to complete. Also, when amendements come from above, we can adapt these to satisfy the changes being imposed on us.
 
If clubs wish to design their own Covid-19 Safety Plans, they are welcome to do so.
 
As well as templates, the following Bay of Plenty Rugby staff are available to provide direct help:
 
Western Bay Clubs: Pat Rae 029-487-8429 pat@boprugby.co.nz
Central Bay Clubs: Lipi Sinnot 021-195-2903 lipi@boprugby.co.nz
Eastern Bay Clubs: Mark Seymour 027-964-2111 marks@boprugby.co.nz
 
And finally, the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union will also host an online Zoom Meeting on Monday 18 May 2020 at 7.00pm for any volunteer committee delegate or member who will be writing these plans to ask any questions in relation to the completion of Covid-19 Safety Plan.  Details of this call (URL and login details) can be obtained by contacting one of the above listed union staff members.
 
Phase Two: Prepare To Play
 
We will enter into Phase Two of our, “Return To Play” plan when the Govt reviews the requirements around the size of gatherings that permit your teams to be able to assemble and train together. 
 
Clubs should have already submitted their Covid Safety Plan for Return To Training by this time so it should just be a matter of implementing that plan and ensuring coaches and players are familiar with their responsibilities.
 
During this phase coaches and referees will be able to attend in person Rugbysmart, Smallblacks and Associate Referee courses.
 
Sport Bay of Plenty will have released the colaborative agreement between all winter and summer sporting codes and six councils on when the winter codes can access council controlled sporting fields.
 
Sub union delegates should also be able to confirm the shape of any competitions that teams will participate in.
 
Phase Three: Play
 
The last phase is when competition games can kick off.  This will be after all of our volunteer committees have consulted with all of our clubs, coaches and players and designed meaningful competitions that the players want to play.
 
Clubs should be well and truly ready by this time, having all the right covid-19 safety plans in place with sufficient resourcing to execute.
 
Summary: 
You must bear in mind that the Government & Ministry of Health updates that are provided on a daily basis will require Sport NZ and NZ Rugby to publish amended documentation on a regular basis throughout this phased, “Return To Play” process. 
 
This means we must all remain adaptable to the fluid nature of these amendments. When this happens, Bay of Plenty Rugby will do its utmost to forward these amendments to our clubs and provide assistance and support in a timely fashion to continue working towards a safe return to play. 
 
For more information on this topic, please contact:
Pat Rae, Community Rugby Manager, Bay of Plenty Rugby Union
pat@boprugby.co.nz | 029 487 8429

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