Rugby vs Corona

Hands up if you miss Rugby?

Yes, us too…

In the light of all the abrupt developments that have occurred in the past few weeks, it would be safe to assume that no one ever predicted or could even imagine the enormous scale with which the Novel-SARS/ Covid-19/ Coronavirus has affected our daily lives.

Let that sink in for a second… All of our lives, everyone around the whole world…

In what should have been the months in which the recurring drama of Super Rugby, Six Nations, Top 14, Heineken Cup and Rugby Sevens would have had us on the edge of our seats, instead we are going through the global social disruption of social distancing, self-isolation and the incredulous practice of toilet paper hoarding…

As Rugby players and fans, as a community we all know what it means to be supportive. It is the essence of our game. So how can we now, in these times of anxiety, continue to support each other and the game we love so much?

Firstly, we as the Rugby community must acknowledge that although Covid-19 is disrupting our sport, we will overcome it and we will not let it beat us.

For professional players, the cancellation of their season will mean a possible loss of income and for regular players it will disrupt their social activities, taking them from a regular camaraderie and team bonding situation into one of relative isolation. This applies to all players from tots, juniors right up to the senior levels for both men and women. There will be, to some degree or other, not only physical but also mental health issues that may arise including anxiety and stress. This will take its toll not only on players but also coaches and volunteers, parents and supporters alike.

Just like Rugby always prioritizes player welfare, the Rugby community should also prioritize community welfare at this trying time.

Please follow the different but very important policies in the countries where you happen to reside. Whether it is social distancing measures or complete lockdown procedures, do consider not only your own wellbeing but also the community’s health and safety as a whole. Staying isolated for a little while can save your life and the life of others.

Next, make sure that you are safe and secure. Always wash your hands and limit your distance from other people. The virus does not travel by itself and limiting your contact and travel will reduce the chances of it spreading.

Make sure you are getting enough nutrition through good food. If you are having problems with this, it is OK to reach out for help from family or community. Keep your surroundings clean and extra disinfecting measures can be taken if you think they are necessary.

While in isolation, try to keep an active lifestyle through regular workout routines and exercise. Also, try to get some sunbathing done when you can. Some sunlight and fresh air will make you feel a lot better.

Mentally, reassure yourself and your family that this too shall pass. Don’t panic.

Keep a positive outlook by focusing on the things that you will be able to do after we beat Covid-19.

To help you during your Rugby “down-time” you can choose activities to compliment exercise such as taking online short courses or simply putting your mind to doing all the things you haven’t had time to do before. Read those books, build that model, learn that musical instrument.

Keep yourself connected with your teammates and community, your friends and family through technology where possible. Plan video conference calls that can reassure you and your friends that you are doing alright, as well as to chat and generally uplift whoever may be needing it.

There are several online resources available such as headfirst.co.nz, tackleyourfeelings.com and the Rugby Players Association’s “Lift The Weight” (therpa.co.uk/lift-the-weight) to help you along, besides other websites that you can access to make sure of your mental wellness.

We will run on the fields, pass the ball and cheer once more. That day will be a marvelous day. In the meantime, stay safe, stay well and together, let’s help Rugby defeat Coronavirus!

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