Good news – we will be able to start training with our planned return subject to the limits of 10 at a time in 6 zones. We are aiming for June for the older age groups and phasing in to the minis

The season is planned commence late July although we don’t have final approval yet.

We are working through applying this given the size of our club and access to fields

…. age managers are meeting with me and we will communicate ASAP. For now here is the communication from SJRU.

Hi All,

I hope all are well, and it is time for another COVID update.

Headline News
As some of you will already know the NSW Sports Minister has given the “Green Light” to sports to commence training providing they are adhering to the now amended public health orders in NSW – principally the revised order limits gatherings to 10 people or less, and requires the continued adherence to social distancing of 1.5m within these small groups. However, the Minister has made it a key condition for Sporting clubs to get approval from their Council (or whichever other body controls the access arrangements for their Club facilities). We do not have an ETA for the Office of Sport Framework or Guidelines for the return to Community Sport as yet – but we have the Minister’s approval to start training subject to conditions.

Where does that leave SJRU Clubs?
The SJRU endorses the return to training for our Clubs/Districts, however our clubs must ensure they do the following to get back to training:

· You must check with your local council (or whomever your club has access arrangements with) regarding access to fields/amenities for training. Council guidelines and rules will vary, and some may not allow access yet. The Local Government Ministry has prepared the attached FAQ’s – page 7 onwards is relevant), and as you will see – it is up to each council to make their own decisions about facilities;
· You need follow the check-lists provided which are relevant for this Phase of return to play. I have updated the check-list, with some further information and resources, so please review it again before starting training. Where applicable I have added some text drawing from the Return to Play protocols prepared by RugbyAu and NSW Rugby, and also information from the AIS Re-boot of Sport framework (we are now in Level 😎. The check-list also includes reminders about ensuring players, and volunteers are registered, and ensuring that Coaches update their SmartRugby accreditation if it has expired;
· Attached is a recommended field set-up, with room for up to 6 x groups of 10 or less. I note that this may change once we see the Office of Sport Framework, but at this stage, Clubs can work on this basis when re-commencing training. If you have the field broken down into less zones then that is fine, but do not set-up more 6 zones per field, and vary your training schedules accordingly to adhere to requirements and the maximum zones you can accommodate; and
· Please post the one-pager infographic attached onto your Club social media/web-site and at your Club so all participants know what is involved in this phase.

To help liaise with your Council, feel free to use this email (and all its attachments) to confirm that your sporting union has endorsed a return to training, and also detailed the requirements that you will be working against to be able to train, so Council can confirm you are going to adhere to the public health order, socially distance etc.

Based on clubs adhering to the requirements above, and of course getting sign-off from their Council (or other party if your access arrangements are different), then you are welcome to get back to Junior Rugby training.

I do note my previous comments last week – make sure you plan properly, consider what age groups should come back to training and when, given we expect matches to be another 6-8 weeks away.

Next Steps
Some of you may have seen return to play requirements which push into the next expected Phase of training, you may also have seen emails, face-book posts, or heard dates for when this phase of training is going to end, when the next phase will start and when we will be back playing. It is a confusing time with lots of mixed messaging.

I have deliberately maintained the focus here on the current phase. When we know when the next phase of training is starting, and we know exactly what conditions to meet for that phase, this will be communicated to you. We will be in contact with the Clubs formally again tomorrow to make a plan for connecting next week via Zoom/Webex with Clubs/Districts/Match Officials to talk the revised plan for the SJRU comps.

So, subject to approval of your council or field landlord as the case may be, you are able to return to training. Can I also strongly request that if you want some help talking to your council, reach out to me please. We are separately working to push things along with the Office of Sport, which may allow us to deal with Council concerns, so don’t hesitate to ask for help.

We are getting closer to playing, but lots of work and uncertainty remains.

As always, be careful out there and look after each other
All the best
JG



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