WP Club Rugby ready for 2021. DHL Western Province at DHL Newlands for semi-final

Welcome to 2021, we trust you have all had a safe and enjoyable festive season and managed to spend some time relaxing with those close to you.

From an on-field perspective, we are happy to say that our DHL Western Province side has progressed into the Carling Currie Cup semi-finals and will take on the Cell C Sharks at DHL Newlands on 23 January 2021. We congratulate Coach John Dobson and his management team on the success to date and look forward to what comes next. If things go our way we will face the winner of the match between the Vodacom Bulls and The Xerox Lions in the finals on 30 January 2021.

On the amateur side, we await further announcements from SA Rugby with regards to the SA Rugby Cup and the factors on return to training for other amateur rugby. In the meantime, the COVID readiness applications for clubs continues at the WPRFU and we urge our clubs to continue the process of COVID education and club readiness together with compliance officer education.

We are constantly monitoring the COVID situation and following the various guidelines issued by SA Rugby, Government and Municipalities as and when they come out. We will keep communicating these guidelines to you.

2020 will go down in the history books as one of the most challenging years we have ever faced. COVID put our clubs under enormous pressure as sports structure but even in the absence of fixtures, we managed to galvanise our structures to face the challenges the pandemic brought upon us.

2020 saw us constantly engaging with your members with several positive results delivered to help strengthen our membership. This included coaching, referees, youth and administrative development all to improve our junior, senior and women’s development within the world of WP Rugby.

As we continue to battle the pandemic we will capitalise on our strengths and build on the positives we gained in 2020 and again accept the challenge to keep our members connected and contribute to them in a meaningful manner using the game of rugby to improve the lives of our members.

This year we will continue to use technology to engage with our members and will shortly send out the various course and online engagement schedules for the first quarter. Amongst others, this will include coaching courses, refereeing matters, club administration and member recruitment at club level.

Continuing with our focus on women’s rugby development our High-Performance coaching course which is exclusively for women will shortly recommence and 2021 will see much publicity for this programme to bolster women’s rugby at club level.

2020 saw us enrol more than one hundred and twenty media, marketing and sponsorship candidates which will now go to work at supporting their club structures to create their various value propositions to go to market. We intend to build on this new found talent and support them to a point of delivery as they now move forward to support the leadership at their various clubs.

We envisage that these MMS Team members are now well-positioned to capitalise on their newfound skills as the success of any sport movement requires interaction and communication to build.

Although we all understand that it’s early in the year and planning is still underway, we remind our members of the importance of keeping their members engaged. This is vital to keep your membership in place and ready for when we return to some sense of normality. 2020 showed us a wide variety of engagement methods in the absence of physical activities and by staying connected and engaging we also deliver a tremendous amount of social interaction which can contribute to social wellness.

We urge our members to continue the use of technology such as email, WhatsApp and social media to reach out to their members where possible. We urge our members to be as creative as possible to keep our members motivated during this difficult time.

On a final note, I again remind our members that we are must keep fighting this pandemic and do so by following all the health and safety protocols and to encourage those around us to do the same.

As a club rugby structure, we know the passion of WP Club Rugby and as active participants of our beloved game, we can spread the message of these important protocols amongst our members. The basics to remember remains to Wash your hands regularly, Maintain Social Distancing and Always wear a mask.

These guidelines are also considered as avoiding the three C’s. 1. Avoid confined spaces, 2. Avoid Close contact, 3. Avoid Crowded spaces.

We have lost several members of our rugby fraternity of late including leaders,  mentors and colleagues. We extend our sincere condolences to the families and loved ones during these difficult times and trust that you will draw strength from the knowledge that you are in our thoughts and prayers. They will forever remain in our memories.