Let the Grassroots Rugby Community Lead the Way in Helping to Beat Covid-19

Posted by John Gates on

Welsh Rugby club Scarlets - coached by incoming All Blacks assistant-coach Brad Mooar - are making stadium facilities available for up to 500 beds to help health authorities cope with the coronavirus pandemic, reports Stuff.co.nz.

"Scarlets announced on Monday (Tuesday NZ time) that they were working with the Carmarthenshire County Council and the Hywel Dda University Health Board to assists the region's fight against Covid-19 by making available amenities at their Parc y Scarlets stadium in Llanelli, west Wales”

“Various locations, including the club's indoor arena, would be handed over to the National Health Service (NHS) for up to 500 beds - if needed”- Scarlets general manager of rugby Jon Daniels said in a statement on the club website.

"Community has always been a huge part of what the Scarlets is about and in unprecedented times like these communities stick together.

Hear, Hear - what a brilliant idea!

As Rugby communities, we are always paying lip service to how we can give back - that is a tremendous idea. Not all clubs own their stadium, but stadium owners could all get onboard with this. How good is it for PR?. Most grassroots clubs at least control their ground, even if the council or someone else owns it

In Australia, we are being told that we don't have enough ICU beds to cope with the possible numbers of serious cases. As someone on the wrong side of 60 that bothers me greatly. I think I'm doing a great job of social distancing, but then, I live in a high-rise apartment. The next lift ride could be the killer-diller for me. I kid you not!

I walked into my office this morning. In the front glass door, up the stairs, in the first floor door and by the time I got to my desk, I realised how many surfaces I had touched. Hand sanitiser on the desk, getting bloody sick of sanitising my hands all day – they’re getting to be like boot leather!

So, every opportunity to get more beds into the system has to be good.
Come on Reds, Waratahs, Brumbies, Rebels, Force - now is a great time to show leadership and think outside the square.

Never mind stadiums, and never mind the franchises, let's get grassroots.

How many empty Rugby clubs are out there with function rooms, outside facilities etc - can't use them for Rugby, in the foreseeable future, but we can help our communities, and if a few good minds get together, how many more great ideas can we come up with?

What about if you had a restaurant/ cafe/meeting room or conference room that was empty and unused -maybe you could get five or six people in there with sewing machines, turning out surgical masks, or gowns, or blankets or whatever the medical system in your town might need.

There would be areas everywhere that could be turned to good use.

The great and wonderful people who serve on Rugby Club committees have an absolute clean slate for good ideas.

You are the mobilisers in your communities, and you are great influencers. Let’s get creative.

So, one good idea should generate lots more. This should be the start of the Rugby community brainstorming great ideas to see how we, as the “grass roots”, as we are so happy to claim, can actually come up with innovative ideas.

So thank you, Scarlets, bloody brilliant – and I have just adopted you as my Welsh team. Good luck for whenever you get back on the park, and that park may just be responsible for saving some lives. That would be good to know.

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