Welcome to the March edition of the Eagles Nest.
By Ed Habgood – Club Safeguarding Officer & Club Coaching Coordinator
The latest board meeting, on March 1st, was again held via ZOOM. Meet the board: From top left: Lee Bradshaw (Minis Chairman), Lee Wayland (Website and Comms), Ed Habgood (SafeGuarding), Justin Brookfield (Juniors Chairman), Andy Studdard (Director of Rugby), Martin Stokes (200 Club), Graham Fawcett (President), Pete Rainey (Treasurer) and Andrew Hamilton (Facilities).
Exciting news – Community Rugby Set to Return
from March 29th – Age Group Managers to confirm training sessions over Easter.
I’ve just finished listening to Steve Grainger from the RFU give us the first details on the road map for restarting community rugby.
As of the 29th March we will be able to engage in restricted contact training, excluding scrums and mauls, and play non-contact Ready4Rugby, O2 Touch and Tag rugby within the club and between other clubs. This will be D1 on the updated roadmap.
Players have obviously not been engaged in any meaningful contact training for the last 5 months and remember back in Sept-October we were very restricted in the amount of time allowed for contact training. Therefore, it is extremely important that we gradually reintroduce contact training. That is why we have a four week period between D1 and D2 on the roadmap, to enable coaches to work with players to build their fitness levels in preparation for adapted contact matches.
D2 will commence from 26th April, with Adult and Age Grade matches with adapted laws (no scrum and mauls). However, Ready4Rugby and other non-contact formats are still available, and coaches will consider player safety before playing contact matches.
Further progression is dependent upon the government reaching Step 3 of their national road map, which is provisionally 17th May, remember this is linked to meeting the four tests*. It is anticipated at this time to resume full contact training, including scrums and mauls. This is Stage E1 on the roadmap. Stage E1 will last 2 weeks and be followed by Stage E2 (earliest May 31st) and this is when full contact matches will be allowed to take place in the adult game.
Obviously for our age grade players the season ends on May 31st, however this year age grade activity will continue to be permitted through the summer. This will be predominantly non-contact matches, but contact training will be allowed. This is recognised as important given that so many age grade players have missed out on the progression of contact training over the last year. There is a lot more to come on this and we will be working with all our coaches to see what we are able to provide to our players during the summer months.
The full lifting of all restrictions is dependent on the government’s national road map reaching Step 4. The earliest this could be is 21st June.
For many of our Age Grade players, there is more good news, as from the 8th March, rugby will be allowed to return in schools in line with the RFU guidelines outlined above.
Over the coming weeks age group managers and coaches along with other volunteers will be working hard to ensure our members can return safely to the club and enjoy rugby once again.
*Vaccine deployment, continued evidence of vaccine effectiveness, infection rates do not surge, new variants do not significantly alter risk assessments.
What else is on my mind?
Grassroots rugby relies on volunteers, without them clubs would not exist. With the Covid-19 pandemic we have seen many incredible examples of volunteering and people helping one another, perhaps one of the few good things to have come out of this terrible time.
Why volunteer? There are many reasons, for some it goes all the way back to when they were in the Minis or Junior section and having benefited from the help volunteer coaches, first aiders, age group managers, and other volunteers gave them. Having enjoyed the benefits that team sport provided, it’s simply the right thing to do.
From parents seeing the joy on their child’s face and the face of other children in the team, to ex-players watching their mates give it all in a league match. Why wouldn’t you step up to make sure that the club can grow and thrive?
There are many more reasons, but just know that community sports clubs provide tremendous long-term benefits to mental and physical health.
Whatever your experiences and skills please give some serious thought as to how you can help our club. If you are interested please email: bulc.ybgurselgae@gnireetnulov.
As you have just read, with the imminent return to rugby it is time for coaches and age group managers start to planning. Player’s excitement levels for returning to rugby are building. How are you going to make sure that you deliver fun active sessions and manage players expectations? Remember the basics of session design remain the same, APES – Active, Purposeful, Enjoyable and Safe.
Consider refreshing your knowledge and complete an online e-module for example:
We will be sharing more resources relating to Stage D and E shortly.
Want to share. Next month we’d love to share an example of effective small side-games.
- What principles of play are you addressing and what questions will you ask the players?
- What types of feedback to give the players and how?
- How do you adapt the game to continuously challenge players?
Zoom Fitness – Face to Face fitness
Sunday Zoom Sessions (Links from age group managers)
While we have been unable to play rugby during this recent lockdown, it hasn’t stopped us from staying fit and keeping strong. It’s about fun and it’s also about challenging yourself, please support your players and why not join in with them and make it a family event this Sunday. The body weight fitness programs we deliver are scalable to all levels of fitness so don’t be shy.
Sunday Face to Face fitness
As we come out of lockdown we plan to provide more services for our members, starting with Sunday morning outdoor group strength and cardio fitness sessions. Why not meet new fitness goals while your children play rugby. These sessions will be delivered by our Professional strength and conditioning coach and qualified Personal Trainer Nick Butcher.
Come along free for the first session, for more on this awesome offer please email: bulc.ybgurselgae@ssentif
- So, as we get closer to Sunday 4th April, remember, clean your boots, wash your kit and continue to stay fit.
- You will receive more updates from Age Group managers and the website will be kept updated.
Looking forward to seeing you all very soon.
Eagles Easter Rugby Camp
Head Coach Dan Leek and supporting DBS Coaches, plus a guest coach from Simon Shaw’s Rugby brand will be delivering fun, games based skills across 3 days this Easter break. Aimed at Years 1-8, U6-U13, please complete the online booking form and then pay for the days you wish your child to attend the sessions. 10% off per day for Eagles Members
Covid secure, adhering to all up to date RFU guidance.
Get a Free Eagles camp T-shirt if you book for 2 days or more