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Clubs Advised To Take Time For Return To Rugby

29th June 2020 By The Editor

Clubs Advised To Take Time For Return To Rugby

While the IRFU’s Return to Rugby Roadmap is currently being rolled out across the province, Munster Rugby Services Co-Ordinator Aidan Cleary has been appointed Club Liaison Officer during this return to rugby period.

While the IRFU’s Return to Rugby Roadmap is currently being rolled out across the province, Munster Rugby Services Co-Ordinator Aidan Cleary has been appointed Club Liaison Officer during this return to rugby period.

See the latest on the return to rugby here.

We spoke to Aidan about his new role and how the province’s 68 clubs are managing their respective paths back to rugby.

What’s involved in the Club Liaison Officer role?

“Basically, I am the conduit of information and advice from the IRFU to the clubs and vice versa if clubs have queries. If I can’t answer the queries, I’ll go back to the IRFU and get the answer from them. Clubs have a lot of queries on what they are allowed to do, what they are not allowed to do etc.

“There’s so much information there, it’s all in the guidelines. But sometimes, understandably, they find it hard to find what they need so they prefer to talk to somebody to help with the process. That’s where we step in, to help and direct them on what needs to be done.

“So much work has been carried out in this space in the last few months, the next step was to get that information out to the clubs and they have been hit with a comprehensive amount of information over the past number of weeks.”

What’s involved for clubs…

“We have 68 clubs and we’re working with our volunteers to get through next steps. Clubs must appoint a Safety Officer, then a Compliance Officer, and they must do a risk assessment and a safety plan. Only once these are completed can they go and return to reduced activity. They are cleared to do that then.

“We’ve told our clubs this is not a one-size-fits-all process. We’re not all going to move at the same pace. Some clubs will be ready before others and we must remember that June is traditionally off-season for many of our clubs and volunteers so there’s a huge understanding on that front with the limited availability of personnel.

“There is no rush for clubs, we understand they are keen to get back, but it’s about doing it right making sure everyone can return to a safe environment to get ready for pre-season.”

Queries from clubs…

“The main queries we are receiving are around the role of the Safety Officer and finding people to fill the role as volunteers are concerned with the level of responsibility in this regard.

“The Safety Officer role is very similar to the Child Welfare Officer role so my advice would be for clubs to take the pressure off, there are guidelines to follow, everyone is doing their best, and we are here to help clubs also as we all follow the IRFU’s return to rugby guidelines.”

Words of advice…

“My advice to clubs is to take your time. Make sure you have the right people in place, and you can get the job done properly as there is a lot to be covered.

“For now, clubs should focus on getting the required roles filled, completing the risk assessment and safety plan, getting ready to return, but you don’t have to have everyone back in training yet. It’s still early and clubs don’t need to go back straight away once everything is in place. Take your time. This is not a race; everything has to be done properly and safely.”

Great response…

“A word of thanks to all our clubs and volunteers for their efforts and understanding. The clubs have been fantastic putting so much work in to be compliant, everyone is in this together, pulling together for the safe return to rugby.”

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