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Opinion

Rugby clubs have a chance to think outside the square - but keep it on the pitch

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Roar Guru
24th March, 2020
4

Rugby communities often pay lip service to how we can give back, well Welsh club Scarlets have a tremendous idea to assist in these troubled times.

According to Stuff, Scarlets “are making stadium facilities available for up to 500 beds to help health authorities cope with the coronavirus pandemic”.

Not all clubs own their stadium, but stadium owners could get on board with this. How good is this 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 beds to cope with the possible numbers of serious cases. As someone on the wrong side of 60, that bothers me greatly.

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!

Walking into my office, I go through the front door, up the stairs, in the first-floor door and by the time I get to my desk, I realise how many surfaces I’ve touched.

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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 clubs are out there with function rooms and outside facilities that can’t be used for the foreseeable. They can be used to help our communities.

If a few minds get together, how many more great ideas can we come up with?

In an empty restaurant, cafe, meeting or conference room, you could get five or six people with sewing machines turning out surgical masks, gowns, blankets or whatever the medical system need.

The great and wonderful people who serve on club committees have an absolute clean slate for good ideas. You are the mobilisers in your communities and great influencers. Let’s get creative.

If the players want to bond, then bring them together in a working bee that sees them help fumigate the clubhouse and get it ready for use in the pandemic.

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One good idea could generate lots more. This should be the start of the community brainstorming to see how we – the grassroots, as we are so happy to claim – can actually come up with innovative ideas.

So thank you, Scarlets, bloody brilliant – 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 lives.