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Return to play guidelines for the community game – stages 1 to 4

The RFL has published its Return to Play Plan for the Community Game, building on the latest advice from Government (DCMS) and Sport England.

The UK has moved from Alert Level 4 to 3.

The RFL remains at Stage 2 which “Includes virtual activity and small group fitness and skills sessions with non-contact and social distancing measures in place”.

Marc Lovering, the RFL’s Director of Participation and Development, said:

“We’ve worked closely with Sport England and other sports to put a framework in place aligning the national guidelines and Alert levels to the return of Community Rugby League, and we hope the information we’re releasing today, after a meeting of the Community Board earlier this week, will help the thousands of players, coaches and volunteers who are so keen for the game to resume.

“We continue to be led by Government guidance and our own Clinical Advisory Group, and progression through the RFL stages will only be confirmed when we are advised it’s safe to do so.

“Since the Alert Level came down from 5 to 4, we’ve been pleased to see the resumption of some Rugby League activity in a community club setting, as per Stage 2 of our Return to Play guidelines.

“Stage 2 involves small group activity evolving into team-based sessions, and that means the Virtual Game Day initiative, building on Skill To Play and Fit To Play, is still significant, in ensuring that clubs not yet ready to return can still encourage their players to remain active and engaged.

“We hope to have more youngsters than ever involved with Virtual Rugby League this weekend, with our first schools competition in Warrington – 15 teams have signed up to a festival organised by the Wolves Foundation, which is set to replace an annual pre-match event. That’s a great example of clubs and Foundations responding positively and imaginatively to the current situation, and we congratulate Warrington for their initiative.

“We are expecting further guidance from DCMS and Sport England, which we hope will allow a move from small group activity to more team-based activity from early July – although still with social distancing.

“Also, we shortly expect to receive further information about the use of indoor sports facilities, which is especially important for Wheelchair Rugby League as we aim to get those players back on court ahead of RLWC2021, even if they are initially restricted to fitness and skills activity.

“We will be issuing an update about Physical Disability and Learning Disability Rugby League in the coming days, given the importance of retaining a focus on these areas of the game, and ensuring that those players stay active in such challenging times.
“Stage 3 of our Return to Play guidelines would involve the possible introduction of social variants such as Touch RL, Tag RL and X League, and the partial return of low risk age groups to full contact.

“It is only at Stage 4, corresponding to the Alert Levels 2 into 1, that we could envisage the return of full contact Rugby League, possibly with rule adaptions, before the return of leagues and competitions. That remains some way off – but at least we are heading in the right direction.”

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Club Cash

AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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