17th May 2021. Message from Heath Chair, Paul Sutcliffe.
As Lockdown lifts and restrictions ease, we're looking forward to re-opening the Club House and getting back to providing as many facilities and Events as we can, for all our Members, Friends and Supporters.
IMPORTANT FOR OUR HEALTH AND SAFETY.
Covid restrictions will be in place for 1 month. Hopefully, we can then get back to 'normal' which should be after the 21st
- masks to be worn as you enter the building until you are seated
- also if going to the toilet
- or leaving the building
- or going for a smoke on the balcony.
These requirements are non-negotiable.
It would help if you'd scan in on the NHS app. If not, please sign in - register sheets will be available in a prominent place.
This is vital and everyone needs to leave theIr contact details - no arguments.
More safety requirements:
- Table Service only - no bar service for the time being
- It's the rule of 6 for tables, no more than that please
- No moving furniture and no 'table hopping'
- Once you have your table, stay with it.
- Please note that it will be first come first served for tables. No 'block bookings'. So, please be patient. Also, please be patient whilst waiting for drinks. We will do our best to serve you as quickly as we can. Promise!
To make things even more safe:
- The one way system will be in place, again.
- So, please enter through the main door and leave via the balcony and fire exit.
- You can smoke on the balcony but remember if you leave your table put your mask on
- All the hand sanitising stations are still in place around the clubhouse - so please use them
- All tables and chairs will be cleaned down regularly throughout the shift
- As will the toilets and all door handles and hand rails
- Card payments are best wherever possible (though we will take cash).
Trust me, all this is to keep you and 'The Staff' safe.
So, hopefully, see you all soon - at 'Calderdale's Premier Rugby Club'.
Let's just get through this 1st month with no hiccups, if we can. Remember, no standing in the Clubhouse - you need
to be seated at all times, please.
Be patient and respect all the staff. We are doing our best to keep things going. Hopefully, there's now light at the end of the tunnel.
Let's follow all of the above. Then we will be fine.
Your Chairman & General Manager
More, general, information and the full Chairman's Message can be found at
15 October. Message from Heath Chair, Paul Sutcliffe.
🍻😷 WEEKEND OPENING TIMES 😷🍻
With the new measures in place, we can seat 35 down in the Clubhouse with all the social distancing measures in place. We have family tables available on request, if from the same household or in a bubble for the last 6 months. We have 2 tables of 6 available on the balcony that can be mixed.
We are open Thursday, Saturday and Sunday this week, please see below for times. Please adhere to all social distancing laws when you visit us.
It's going be tough for a while, even tougher than it has been, but we can get through this together! We would like to thank everyone for their support so far - popping in for a pint, attending the events, organising hampers for raffles; your efforts do not go unnoticed! Please keep supporting us when and as much as you can, UTH!
13 October. Message from the Club.
😷 NEW COVID RULES 😷
Please see below the announcement from Calderdale Council with regards to the new rules now Calderdale has been classified as a Tier 2 area.
This unfortunately means that we can only accept table bookings for all of our events for one household or bubble.
Please do not try and book for people outside your household or bubble to join you as this will not be accepted.
This rule now applies to our Sunday lunch on the 18th October, and our mezze night on the 24th October.
Please contact Sproggit if you need to alter any of your bookings.
From Calderdale council:
⚠️ UPDATE TO LOCAL RESTRICTIONS IN CALDERDALE ⚠️
As of this Wednesday 14th October, restrictions in Calderdale are changing. Calderdale has been identified as a Tier 2 area in the new national tiered approach to COVID-19 restrictions, announced by the government this afternoon.
There are three tiers in the new system:
Tier 1 (Medium Alert Level)- the minimum level of restrictions applicable to all of England.
Tier 2 (High Alert Level) - applies in certain geographical areas or nationally when there has been a rise in COVID-19 transmission, which cannot be contained through local responses.
Tier 3 (Very High Alert Level) - triggered in certain geographical areas or nationally when Tier 2 measures have not contained the spread of the virus, or where there has been a significant rise in transmission.
The Tier 2 restrictions, which will apply throughout Calderdale from this Wednesday are:
◾️ People must not socialise with anybody outside of their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
◾️ People must not socialise in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or other spaces like beaches or parks (other than where specific exemptions apply in law).
◾️ Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those which remain closed in law.
◾️ Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am. Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm, as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru.
◾️ Schools, universities and places of worship remain open
Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees.
◾️ Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with).
◾️ People can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, for work or to access education, but should look to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.
◾️ Informal carers can provide care for children and vulnerable adults. Children under 14 can be cared for by people outside of their immediate household as part of a care bubble.
◾️ Children’s groups and supervised activities in private homes are permitted, as is registered and wraparound childcare.
Read more here👉 http://news.calderdale.gov.uk/tier-2-restrictions-to-help-reduce-covid-19-in-calderdale/ (PLEASE NOTE: You are about to navigate away from the Heath RUFC website. Heath RUFC is not responsible for the content of this external site and does not monitor other Web sites for accuracy).
26 September. Message from the Club.
Coming down to Heath?
We have full social distancing in place, including a track & trace system which must be filled in on arrival.
Face masks required on entry and walking around the premises, but not when seated.
Table service in operation - no queuing at the bar please.
Tables of 6 only.
Contactless payments only.
Booking advisable for the football on Sunday.
Hand sanitising stations are in place throughout the club - please use these on arrival and during your visit.
23rd September. Message from Paul Sutcliffe, Heath Chair.
Updated and revised procedures, following on from the Gov'ts latest Covid measures.
Firstly, we all need to wear a mask as we enter the premises. Once you are seated at a table you can remove the mask . Masks must be worn if going to the toilet . Going on to the balcony for a smoke . Or leaving the premises .
On entry to the building every member or visitor has to sign in please. The register is situated at the top of the stairs as you enter the bar area. Track and trace is law now, so must be taken seriously. Though we've been operating this regulation for some time.
There will be no service at the bar anymore. All drinks will be table service only, with a contactless card payment to make it easier and quicker to serve customers. We can set tabs up to be paid at the end of the night . The staff will give you a table no and this will be your tab no for the night. Card to be handed in when you order your first drinks. Cash payments will still be taken if needed .
All tables are set out with social distancing in place. Please don't move the furniture about. No standing in the Clubhouse. Seating only. No mingling with other tables. We are only allowed tables of 6 - no more round one table please. This is also law now as well .
The club can be fined and I can, personally, for anyone breaking the rules. Also I could lose my liquor licence to serve alcohol at the Club .
All staff serving you food or drinks at your table will be wearing a mask or face visor . Please respect all the staff, as we are all doing are best to keep you safe in the Rugby Club.
Since we opened the doors in July, we have managed to adhere to all the rules that have been put in place. I would like to thank everyone of you for that; for showing common sense, so we can operate in a safe manner and for keeping yourself and the staff safe .
This virus is not going away any time soon, so we are going to have to live with it for the foreseeable future, I'm afraid. If we carry on, showing the same spirit that we have been doing, we can enjoy lots more social events at the Club, in a safe environment.
Closing hours have also changed now, as well. With all customers having to leave the premises by 10pm, no later. Consequently, last orders will be 9.20 pm. This is also law as well.
So there you have it. Not something I'd want to police everytime I open the door. But that's the rules for now - whether we like them or not. They are there for our safety and we all have to do it to get through it!.
Please follow the guidelines and use the hand sanitizer stations which are situated round the Clubhouse.
Thank you all for your cooperation in these strange and challenging times . Please carry on supporting us, if you can. It's much appreciated.
Paul Sutcliffe (Sproggit ). Chairman
31st July. Message from HEATH. Updated re URGENT MEASURES in Calderdale.
With last night’s announcement, we would like to again remind everybody to please adhere to all social distancing measures when you visit us (or anywhere for that matter!).
These are in place to keep us all safe, so please remember to:
✏️ Sign in when you arrive for Track & Trace
🙌 Wash and/or sanitise your hands on entry and at regular intervals
❌ NO standing at the bar or around tables
❌ NO moving of furniture - this has been layed out to keep everyone at a safe distance
💳 Pay with card as much as possible
👨👩👧👦 Socialise ONLY with your household/bubble as per new rules announced last night
👫 Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household or bubble
25th July. Message from Maria McFadden, Club Sec'.. COVID PROCEDURES TO OBSERVE AT THE CLUB.
A good day to you all. Let's keep safe .................
Bearing in mind the recent announcement from Calderdale Council, with regards to the recent increase in local cases, we would like to take this opportunity to remind our members, friends, community and visitors that Covid-19 has not gone. When or if you are visiting us, please make sure you do the following:
- Sign in to our ‘Track & Trace’ system
- Wash/sanitise your hands on arrival
- Follow our one way system in, out and around the club
- Maintain social distancing at ALL times
It is each individual’s responsibility to look after themselves, which in turn looks after us all.
If you feel unwell, please stay away.
If you have had or been near someone who has had Covid-19, please make sure you self-isolate and do not visit the club until you are sure you’re clear.
15th July. Message from Dave Wadsworth, Club Treasurer.
Members, Friends & Supporters:
After an eventful spring, leading into summer,we have reopened as a club, be it with limitations at the moment.
As mentioned in previous commentary, we have tackled flood repairs and defences through a combination of grants from Sport England, RFF and the Local Council, to name a few, along with some fantastic contributions and hard work from the members. We have coped with Covid shutdown in the best way we can and brought the clubhouse and grounds up to a standard many clubs will find hard to beat.
All this has been at a cost - which we have had to manage very carefully, but we are ready for rugby and, I’m sure, excited about it as well.
More detail will be presented at the AGM or included in minutes sent out, if you cannot attend.
We now have another financial challenge ahead of us – that of opening the clubhouse, with restrictions in place, whilst coping with pre-covid overheads and direct cost, which can only be pared down so far. The balancing act will be matching a restricted monthly income (mainly bar take and limited dining) against these costs – a tall order!
It will only be when our facilities open up further that we can start to relax – outside demand is there to supplement our activities but we are a distance away from it at the moment.
So, once again, we need your effort and support ‘to keep the ship afloat’ with the expectation that we shall be playing rugby at a point in time. We need to keep the Club busy and vibrant on a weekend so please come along – treat it as ‘the local’, drag the family and your ‘bubble’ down – use a huge beer garden with a playground to match. A busy weekend will help balance the books, with the prospect of rugby getting closer and closer.
Sprog has some innovative ideas, both for weekend afternoons and - coming up -Friday night functions. Any ideas your side will be welcomed!
As a group I’m sure we will get there …. But we need that special effort again - a lot of support before the financial burden can be shared with outsiders and bigger groups. It can only be done through you.
Let’s have some good summer weekends at the Club, as we head through pre-season, with hopefully the reward of rugby in the not too distant future.
2nd July. Message from Paul (Sproggit) Club Chairman.
Heath RUFC COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Operating Model. We have prepared a document to outline the necessary precautions to be taken upon the reopening of Heath RUFC - in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The operating model will be in place to help minimise the risk of transmission of the Coronavirus Virus for both staff and customers, by ensuring that we adhere to the latest available Government guidelines and advice.
As a responsible club, Heath RUFC’s primary focus will always be the health and wellbeing of all it’s staff, players, members and guests.
We expect everyone to respect the measures that we have put in place in response to COVID-19. Our aim is for everyone who visits Heath RUFC to enjoy our facilities, but more
importantly, to stay safe.
Any person who is not prepared to abide by the Clubs protocols will be refused entry or asked to leave.
Here's a link to the News Item, on this site. HERE. Details of our Risk Assessment and Staff Questionaire can be read and / or downloaded from there.
Heath RUFC Chairman
25th Jun UPDATED 30th Jun. Message from Paul Sutcliffe (Sproggit) Club Chairman.
A good day to all Heath members, hope you are all safe and well.
The news you have all been waiting for - we will be re-opening the Club House on Sat the 4th of July. We will be operating in line with the government guidelines, details of which are set out below and are the 'the new normal' for now.
Inside the Club House:
- We will be operating a one-way system, with the main door as the entry into the clubhouse. One door in the clubhouse will be blocked off, with the fire escape used as the exit point. These will be all signposted with arrows and floor markers. Pse take note.
- We ask that, when queuing for your beer order, just the person who is paying (and not groups of people) comes to the bar. To help, trays will be available.
- Plastic glasses will be used inside and outside, for now, no arguments, please.
- Contactless payments, where possible (IT'S SAFER) but we will accept cash if needed. Bar tabs will be available on the day as well.
- We have arranged the lounge area so that we can sit 36 customers, at one time.
- There will be no standing at tables or at the bar.
- Family and friends who are in the same 'bubble' can add chairs to the table but only as long as it's safe to do so and they are not blocking the walkways.
- The balcony is the main exit from the clubhouse and must be kept clear at all times.
- This area can only be used for smokers who have a table in the clubhouse.
- PLEASE adhere to social distancing.
- Toilets will be open upstairs plus both sets of changing rooms as well.
- All we ask is that we all use common sense when visiting the toilets and respect social distancing.
- Also, please use the bins provided for sanitary products, wet wipes and paper towels and don't flush down the toilets.
- No dogs in the clubhouse.
- Dogs outside are fine, but they must be on a lead at all times. Please and make sure you clear up any mess.
- All children are to be supervised at all times and they shouldn't be running around the clubhouse, breaking the distancing rules.
- Any members wanting to sit outside and use the car park and / or 2nd team pitch - please note that we will not be providing any chairs or tables. So, please bring your own if you want to enjoy the sunshine. You can store on site afterwards to make life easier.
- All members are responsible for clearing up after themselves. There are bins situated around the site, to keep it clean and tidy.
- We are open for members only to start with.
- Anybody now wishing to pay their subs, please contact me on 07403 064417 and I will give you the required banking details. Obvs, I will accept membership payments over the bar when we open as well. Great value at: Full £40. Social £30.
There will be posters and COVID information situated all round the clubhouse, along with the various sanitizing stations. Please follow the guidelines and stay safe.
Opening: Latest Hours
- Thursday 5pm-11pm
- Saturday 2pm-9pm
- Sunday 2pm-7pm
- The new start date for safe training is Sat 1st August.
- It will be every Tues & Thurs afterwards.
Myself and 'the girls' can't wait to welcome all the Heath family back into the newly decorated Clubhouse and resurfaced car park. I think you will love it - the grounds are looking fantastic.
To finish: all we ask is - keep your space and keep us all safe. We must all do it to get through it and get back to some kind of normal.
See you all on the 4th of July.
One very proud Chairmen and Club Manager.
13 Jun. Message from Paul Sutcliffe (Sprog). Chair Heath RUFC.
Just a quick update (1) as to where we are regarding opening the Club back up - in early July (hopefully, if the goverment lifts the 2m social distancing restrictions) and (2) Subs payment.
Heath will be able to operate a one way system in the club . We will be able to seat 35 max in the clubhouse, though, with no seating or standing at the bar. Obviously, outside space is the option weather permitting. We will be asking members to bring their own seats and tables if you wish to sit outside.
All upstairs and changing rooms toilets will be open - with a 'one in one out' basis being used. Members will have to be responsible for their own hygiene but there will be extra hand washing stations placed around the site .
Plastic glasses will be used in and out side the Clubhouse till further notice and the restrictions start to ease .
Any litter to be cleaned away by the individual on the day - with bins inside & outside for the disposal of your plastic glasses & bottles .
Contactless payments only for all purchases no cash payments for now .
No pets in the clubhouse - outside on a lead is fine .
Children to be supervised by adults at all times and not running round the clubhouse .
The main entrance will be the only way in to the clubhouse on re opening, with the fire escape used as the exit route .
As regards the balcony - this can be used for smokers, as long as social distancing is maintained.
All the above are reliant on the goverment's instructions and the brewery having the products for us to open. IN A SAFE MANNER.
It will be members and their partners, only, to be served at the Club for the foreseeable future - that is until we see how all this pans out.
Moving on, any members wanting to pay their subs - please contact me on 07403064417 and I will give them our bank details, in order to make payment. Can I ask for this to be AS SOON AS POSSIBLE IN ORDER TO HELP THE CLUB IN THESE DIFFICULT TIMES.
Finally and hopefully - see you all in early July. Opening times will be confirmed at a later date.
Stay safe, your Chairman & Club Manager
12 May. Message from Dave Wadsworth. Treasurer Heath RUFC.
Just an update from the finance committee.
When we entered this situation it was on the back of a flood which, even with our experience, we hadn’t seen before. Then Covid brought a new dimension and our objective was survival.
We have pared down our overheads to such an extent that we are ‘living on fumes’ but we are surviving….and preparing.
The management throughout has been exceptional – individually and as a group – matched and only made possible by our Heath community – I don’t just mean members because the support has extended to people who still give to the club and follow its fortunes long after their playing or supporter days have gone.
The player group have been exceptional in their support – the challenges, the individual gym sessions ready to play rugby, early subs, ideas! All matched by support from near and far. A horrible experience which has drawn our community together.
Through tremendous efforts we have weathered the storm up to now and the Finance team have looked to the positivity that has come out of the club.
We are doing things in the background covering two aims.
1. Play rugby with the best facility we can offer the players– matching N1E and beating most of the facilities the 2’s and thirds might come across.
2. Giving the clubhouse and general grounds the wow factor that can fend off those pubs and other clubs in our fight to regain business when the new norm kicks in.
In both respects I think we are well ahead of the game.
Whilst managing our position we have gone ahead with the recovery of the pitches – we will match any club come the start of the season – improvements for both areas are in our long term plans anyway (levelling etc) but the teams will play on excellent surfaces this year with equipment to match.
We are currently refurbishing and decorating the clubhouse – people will find it difficult to walk away from the ‘wow’ factor that is Heath when they start to re-engage with their social life and book functions etc.
I couldn’t think of a finer group of people I would want to weather this storm with. We are coping and need the continued support and innovations you have come up with.
12 April, message from Paul Sutcliffe (Sproggit), Chair' HRUFC.
Hello, all. I hope you are staying safe in these unprecedented times for our country.
Before I start on Club business, I would just like to thank our amazing NHS and all other Key Workers - as I know we have lots at the Club, including the Stainland Lions. Thank you so much for all your hard work.
So here we go; as you all know by now, the 1st Team have been promoted to North 1 East and the 2nd Team have won the Merit Championship and have also been promoted. Great news! I would personally like to thank all my Coaching Staff and Backroom Staff in making this happen. I’m so pleased for the lads, as I know how much effort and work on the paddock has gone into reaching your targets & goals - well done lads. So proud of every one of you. And, believe me, when lockdown is over we will be having the party of all parties (as only Heath know how to do). Infact, it’s even more special because, as you all know, we lost the Club President, Club stalwart and a good friend to me and many more, Dave Bradley, this season. I’m sure he will be bursting with pride whilst looking down on his beloved Heath.
As we are in ‘lockdown’, there are lots of meetings going on behind the scenes to make sure we can survive financially and come out the other side OK, when this is all over. We have a good Committee and we will make sure that we not only survive, but will come back stronger - after what we have been through this last 6 months; with the floods to contend with as well. So, when Boris gets better and lifts the restrictions, we will be open for business.
At this time of year, we normally kick off our maintenance programme with work on the grounds and pitches. This will be the case again. After distance-meeting the groundsman, last week, to discuss what needs doing, we have put 15, 4 foot deep sumps across both pitches, to help with the bad weather to act as drainage. These have been backfilled with gravel. We’ve laid 50 tonne of soil across both pitches to level out and fill the hollows. The pitches will be drilled and verti-drained. Then they will be topped off with 30 bags of seed, fertiliser, weedkiller and herbicide, which will make them fit for North 1 East rugby and be, by far, the best facilities in Calderdale - by a country mile!
On the car park front, we have scraped it back as much as we can ( to clear all the debris from the floods), this will then be finished off with 2" of scalpings at a later date and will be rolled. We’ve also cleaned the walkways up, as they were heavily soiled with silt from the floods, as well. We are clearing out behind the main stand, to get better access on match days and our intention is to put netting up - to stop balls going into the garden centre compound, saving us quite a lot of money in the long term.
On the player front, I had a meeting with Harry and Mark, last week, with to regards next season. We discussed several options; where we need to strengthen the squad for next season, which is going to be a big test for both teams moving forward. Harry will update you once we have any news on players coming in.
Obviously, with finances being stretched to the limit post-Coronavirus, it’s going be very hard to get sponsorship and so on, compared to before . So, with this in mind, we are asking players and members alike, to please pay their subs as soon as possible – through banking apps or on line banking. This is to help the Club out financially; to partly fund the above ground works and also to buy-in the basics of ‘kit’ (inc. players shorts and socks - that we provide as part of the membership).
Paddy Kerr is coming on board and has already started the ball rolling by obtaining player sponsors and pushing payment of general Club membership. Also, Paddy will be signing-up programme sponsorship. Road-side boards, Pitch-side boards and Matchday sponsorship is available for every 1st Team home game as well.
Fees etc Listing:
Club member /playing £40
Social member £30
Junior family membership £40
Player sponsor £100
Matchday sponsor £300 + vat
Programme adverts, road-side boards, pitch-side boards - ask myself or Paddy (numbers below) for details and prices.
Please contact myself, John Robertshaw or Dave Wadsworth (phone no’s on our contacts page, this site) for Bank details so monies can be paid direct. NB: please reference payment with membership type (full or social or junior) and your name. Player sponsor please reference type and name, as well.
So, there you have it guys and girls. Not the way I wanted to celebrate playing the highest level of league rugby ever since we were formed in 1928! We will play rugby again - just hope that all our great members, family and friends are there to join us, at what we believe is Calderdale’s Premier Club .
Stay safe guys.
One very proud chairman.
31 March. News update from RFU (EDITED): Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update
Please find below the third edition of our Coronavirus (COVID-19) update.
A lot has happened since the start of this week. We’ve taken a tough decision to furlough some of our employees, which will result in clubs having a different point of contact for a while, we've also decided to close our Rugby 365 facilities until the end of June and have cancelled training courses for the foreseeable future. In addition, we’ve made good progress in the understanding the impact of the support packages available, including government and Sport England support. More detailed information is available below.
We will continue to provide regular updates to support our clubs through this communication.
The following decisions have been announced this week:
Like many other businesses, including some in sport, the RFU is taking prudent steps to protect its finances and employees at this unprecedented time. We will take advantage of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Furloughing of some employees is one of the ways in which we are trying to protect jobs for the future. This will include a lot of our locally deployed staff. Area Managers/central teams will be in contact individually with CBs and partners over the next few days, once we have spoken with all impacted individuals to update on the local situation and mitigation to ensure clubs remain supported.
Supplemental Pot Payments
Clubs, CBs and/or Referee Societies eligible for the Supplemental Pot Payment will be receiving an individual communication tomorrow providing details.
Payment of Players Declarations/Club Grants/Loans
Temporary closure of Rugby 365 AGPs
In order to protect our staff and volunteers who work at Host Clubs on a day-to-day basis, the Rugby 365 facilities will close from 1 April until 30 June 2020, subject to continual review. No maintenance or usage will take place during this period. We have asked Host Clubs to secure the sites and, where possible, the pitches will be monitored remotely. Subject to government guidance, we will work with our partners to bring the facilities back to full operation at the appropriate time. Please contact Rugby365@rfu.com if you have any enquiries.
RFU Training Courses
All RFU training courses scheduled to take place between 1 April – 30 June 2020 have been cancelled. Anyone who has booked onto a course will receive notification and full refund. No further training courses will be scheduled until the government’s restrictions are lifted. Members of the England Rugby Coach and Referee Associations will be offered access to a weekly webinars, e-learning and digital content in the interim.
Other support available
Government support packages
We understand that Local Authorities are now beginning to write to, or will be shortly writing to, all businesses (clubs) who are rate payers and who will be eligible to receive some of the support grants and rate relief that the Chancellor announced. The communications may be addressed to the business (club) address, i.e. actual rugby clubs. This will depend on the information that the Local Authority holds. You may need to enter your clubhouse to collect the information especially as we have been made aware that some Local Authorities have requested further information, but clearly working within government guidelines.
Sport England launches the Community Emergency Fund
Sport England has today announced a £195 million package to help sport and physical activity through Coronavirus. This includes a new £20 million Community Emergency Fund which is open now for local club and community organisations to bid for grants between £300 and £10,000. We will now analyse what this could mean for rugby clubs over the next couple of days and will provide an update in Friday’s Community Game Update. In the meantime, we would encourage clubs to take a look at this new initiative.
Clubs doing great things
We are pleased to that so many clubs continue to support their local communities.
Please email VeeMontebello@rfu.com or PatriciaMowbray@rfu.com to let us know about your club’s activities.
Other important updates
Referees and match officials working together to support clubs
The Rugby Football Referee Union has called on its members to work together, as well as with individual CBs, to do whatever is possible to support clubs who are financially challenged by their inability to operate during these unprecedented times. Current ideas include consideration as to how to best utilise training and development monies that are unlikely to be spent, the refund of charges levied against clubs for the provision of Match Officials, the return of prospective charges, and rebated seasonal payments. Feedback which can be shared with the match officiating community is welcomed. Members are also asked to share and publicise any successful efforts that have resulted in monies being re-routed back in to the game in order to support clubs.
Updated guidance for team strength & conditioning and medical staff
Click here (You are about to navigate away from the Heath RUFC website. Heath RUFC is not responsible for the content of this external site and does not monitor other Web sites for accuracy) to read the current guidance that has been issued for strength & conditioning and medical staff working in English rugby who are providing conditioning and rehabilitation services for players during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This is based on current government advice, as of Wednesday 25 March 2020. Additional guidance has been provided regarding the medical services provision and the ongoing care of injured players.
31 March. Message from Heath, Dave Wadsworth, Club Treasurer.
COVID-19 -Easily the biggest challenge we have faced at the Club.
With Heath not functioning at the moment, we are in for one of the toughest times we have faced. We have had to make difficult choices in cutting overheads to the minimum with the prospect of little or no revenue until mid-summer or longer. Clearly, we are into new territory and need help all the way. You, as members, have been great and ‘LocalGiving’ with its 25% government addition has contributed – we need to keep it going, though. One suggestion made is to donate some of the money you would have spent at the club into ‘LocalGiving’, (check out our page at https://localgiving.org/charity/heathrugbyclub/) a big ask in some cases with your own situation possibly affected.
We are looking at news from Government and the RFU but actual support is naturally thin on the ground at the moment
We need people to have faith for now, with bookings made with the Club, so let’s spread the message that we are immediately open for business once the green light has been given.
Very difficult times which needs your support. We appreciate that you are helping all you can – we will survive.
Let’s remember the fantastic season the Club has had and hope for deserved news come mid April.
So, finally, if you would like to make a donation to Heath, in these difficult times, then please use the LOCALGIVING.COM link that appears in the bottom menu bar on our website pages.
20 March. RFU CONFIRMS END OF 2019-2020 SEASON
The RFU have decided that the 19/20 season has ended.
Further details will be released in due course including the key information regarding Promotion and Relegation issues.
We await guidance as to how to proceed on these topics and this information will be published as soon as possible.
Message from RFU Chief Executive Bill Sweeney
My thoughts and those of all of us at the RFU are with everyone impacted by COVID-19 as well as recent flooding events, both across the country at large but also within our own rugby union community.
In order to provide clarity and to assist with immediate and longer term planning, the RFU is today announcing the end of the 2019/20 rugby season for all league, cup and county rugby in England. The only exception to this is the Gallagher Premiership, who we are in active discussions with to review possible best next steps.
When current government advice on social distancing measures changes, we will naturally encourage rugby training and friendlies to recommence.
I would like to personally thank everyone for their swift actions in suspending rugby activity, this is not an easy time and I know many of you will have concerns that go beyond the game.
We are working through the implications of ending the season early and have instigated a thorough process to ensure fair and balanced outcomes for the game. We will communicate these outcomes by the middle of April. While we would like to provide all the answers now, we need some time to get it right for the best interests of the game. Rest assured we are working on this as a priority and we will continue to send weekly updates to clubs.
The three areas of focus for the RFU right now are Welfare, Implications and Reboot.
We are ensuring colleagues and communities are given support to follow government advice and are providing recommendations on how to stay fit and healthy using individual training programmes. We are also talking to government about how we can deploy and mobilise our own resources across England to support the vulnerable.
Every union is different, with unique structures and challenges and the RFU needs to manage its own particular complexities. Our business model is similar to most rugby clubs - we earn revenue from events on and off the field and we invest that back into the game. We benefit from strong Twickenham Stadium revenues but we are also exposed if there is widespread cancellation of games and events.
In this extraordinary situation we are working through a range of potential financial scenarios dependent mainly on the length of this crisis. This was already budgeted to be a loss making year within a 4 year cycle due to the costs of the 2019 RWC campaign and only hosting two home Six Nations games. The loss will now be considerably more as we face challenges similar to businesses across the entire country. There may well also be much longer term financial implications which we are assessing now. It is therefore taking us some time to develop a considered position on how we can support clubs and the rugby community, which we will do.
We have already undertaken financial measures to safeguard the business enabling us to review all options and programmes to provide support for clubs in these difficult times.
We welcome the measures announced by Government which could provide crucial support to professional and community clubs and the RFU. We are in regular contact with Sport England and The Sport and Recreation Alliance to understand how business rate relief and hardship funds can be accessed by clubs and will be providing assistance to make sure every club who is eligible will be supported.
The implications for all areas of rugby will be thoroughly worked through and solutions discussed and developed with the clubs.
Our welfare advice before the start of next season will switch to offering guidance on how players at all levels can reboot and get match ready.
We will work closely with constituent bodies to support clubs, competition organisers and the wider rugby community in preparing to re-start rugby in what is likely to be a challenging environment.
In recent days we have all been inspired by the many stories across the rugby family working together to support those who are the most vulnerable in their community – this encapsulates the unique spirit of rugby. I am confident that this spirit and resilience during these tough times will ensure we will come through this together and emerge stronger.
Take care and stay safe,
18 March RFU UPDATE ON COVID 19 ACTION.
........... We continue to review the implications of the government’s advice on the wider aspects of the community game. There are still a number of other matters to be resolved and we will provide further information regularly through this communication, unless there is an urgent need to do otherwise.
Cancellation of forthcoming activitiesThe following activities have been cancelled with immediate effect:
The Adult Male Future Competition Structure consultation sessions due to take place between Monday 23 March to Tuesday 14 April - all those booked on these sessions will be contacted. The aim is to ensure a decision on future structures is taken by the Friday 12 June Council meeting, a new plan for consultations will be communicated in due course.
The Growing the Female Game regional conferences due to take place between Monday 23 March to Sunday 17 May - we will contact all registered participants over the course of this week.
All England Rugby training courses - scheduled to start between Tuesday 17 March to Thursday 30 April - we will contact participants already booked on courses, who will be refunded. We will process refunds as soon as possible. However, we are currently experiencing high volumes of requests so please bear with us. A decision regarding courses due to start in May/June will be made based on guidance from Public Health England.
England Counties - in light of the recent advice against overseas travel, we have taken the decision to cancel the following England Counties tournaments:
• England Counties U18s home matches against Ireland - 14 to 18 April
• England Counties U20s tour to Georgia - 17 to 28 May
• England Seniors tour to Romania - 1 to 10 June.
The decision has been taken in the interests of players, coaches, medics and volunteers who lead these programmes.
All Rugby 365 bookings through to Tuesday 14 April - customers and host clubs have been contacted. Full refunds will be made in respect of all cancellations. Bookings from Wednesday 15 April onwards will be reviewed.
Other important updates
In addition to the above cancellations, we would like to provide clarity regarding the following areas:
Support for clubs – we are investigating a range of options to provide support for clubs and hope to communicate more information next week. We are also in close contact with the government to get further details on how the changes announced by the Chancellor yesterday might benefit rugby clubs, e.g. business rates.
Adult competitions - we are currently looking into the implications on, and options for, the conclusion of our Adult Men’s and Adult Women’s competitions for this season. This review work is expected to take the next few weeks and a final position is unlikely to be clear until April.
Age Grade season and competitions - the regulated Age Grade season finishes for clubs, schools and colleges on Sunday 10 May. We are aware that the current suspension of all rugby until Tuesday 14 April impacts on some competitions, we are exploring options on this and any updated position will follow once available.
Further information will be made available if and when interim decisions are taken.
Rugby in schools and colleges – our advice for rugby is clear and means no rugby activity and/or competitions staged in the education sector by us or the Constituent Bodies. However, schools and colleges govern their own PE, curriculum and enrichment activity, therefore they should take guidance from their local education authority, governing body or academy trust. The lead national organisation for colleges sport (Association of Colleges Sport) have also suspended all their activities.
Rugby in universities – university rugby clubs are reminded that, as RFU members, their rugby is subject to the same current restrictions as all other community clubs. The lead national sports organisation in universities (British Universities and Colleges Sport) have also suspended all their activities and are in support of this approach.
Gyms - clubs should follow the government’s advice, i.e. restrict movement, avoid gatherings, etc. Decisions on whether to open or not are at the discretion of clubs and gym activity is not regarded as rugby activity.
Insurance - the policies arranged by us for registered clubs are public and employers’ liability (which protect you if you are sued by someone else for causing injury to them) and personal accident cover (which provides specific benefits to you if you suffer a catastrophic accidental injury whilst playing). Please click here for all the policy documents.
These policies do not provide cover in respect of the commercial impact of a pandemic like Coronavirus. If a club has a business/commercial/property policy it is possible that the business interruption section of that may provide some cover, depending on the policy wording. If you have a query regarding your business policy you should refer to your insurer or broker.
Tours - our advice and that of the government should be followed i.e. no incoming tours can play matches before 14 April (at the earliest) and outgoing tours will need to take account of government advice and / or their own insurance specifics.
Insurance cover for any cancellation of tours will be depend on your travel insurance and the specific details of your circumstances. You should check with your travel insurance provider. If you have arranged travel insurance via the Howden RFU tours scheme, please call 02392 419015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate that we are in unprecedented times and we are here to provide support to our clubs and their communities where we can during this challenging period.
16 March. RFU SUSPENDS ALL RUGBY
Rugby activity includes club training, league and cup matches plus rugby education courses from 17 March until 14 April subject to continued review.
The decision has been taken following government advice in the interests of players, coaches, referees, volunteers, supporters and the wider rugby union community.
Where possible, players at all levels are encouraged to maintain their own personal fitness and keep active during this time, while following government guidelines about safe distance and safe exercise environments.
The RFU will continue to review and monitor government advice and will provide detailed updates on the impact to the season in the coming weeks.