What we have done?
Since being back for the new season things have looked different to what we have been used too, in terms of pre-season compared to the last few seasons due to the Covid restrictions in place. As training resumed, we were limited to small, socially distanced groups with sessions relying solely on fitness. As the restrictions lessen and we followed the RFU guidelines with the return to rugby (that has allowed more ball work with small groups) looking at handling drills and the introduction of the ready for rugby games. A variant on touch and pass with 10 per team has allowed us to work on our core skills and develop our handling within the current guidelines.
How it feels to be back.
After what felt like a long layoff, it was great to be back out on the pitch with the lads again. Although limited to fitness for the first few weeks, it was just great to be up at the club and back into the routine of training twice a week. It was a tough start with many of us having a noticeable lockdown body that was soon whipped back into shape! As the restrictions lifted and we got more and more ball work, the sessions started to resemble a more normal training session. The new, adapted game has allowed us to play some form of training match and it’s great to have the competitive element back. We all want to get back to ‘normal’ rugby soon and there are the obvious frustrations of no contact at the minute but the lads have adapted really well.
What have we done to stay safe?
The club has worked really hard to make sure the return to rugby is a safe one. Plenty of social distancing planning has meant that all the lads know where to be at and what time. In smaller groups of 10 we have all had an individual coach for the session, meaning the lads get to experience all the coaches throughout the weeks. The sessions have been really well planned out in these testing times but it’s great to see everyone following the guidelines, using plenty of hand sanitiser!
Despite the obvious challenges the ‘Covid’ era has brought, it’s been great to see so many faces up at training. We’ve seen maximum numbers attending sessions, with plenty of new players coming to join the club as well as the returning seniors. One of the most positive things about this adapted start to the season is the inclusion of the u17s into the seniors training. It’s great that so many of them are coming and enjoying the sessions ready for their introduction to senior rugby in the next couple of years.
How it feels to be club captain.
It’s a great honour to be named Baildon’s club captain for this season. I’m really hoping I can have a positive impact on the club in my role, set a good example and be a positive representative of the players. Hopefully we can get plenty of games for both seniors and juniors this season in whatever format we can. I look forward to seeing everyone out on the pitch and in the bar.
Dan Fletcher, Club Captain 2020/2021