Although professional sport has been back for several months now, with matches and events taking place behind closed doors, sport at university level has been left on ice. This has resulted in a large number of students returning to university and finding that a huge chunk of their social and sporting life is now missing.
While British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) do have a well thought out ‘return to play’ plan in place, competitive local and regional leagues will not resume in semester one because the reasons behind the suspension of BUCS are still very much relevant.
With greater restrictions likely to be introduced in the very near future, the next few months look bleak for some student sports teams. However, one intramural rugby team from Edinburgh University have put a survival plan in place.
History Boys RFC was founded by a group of students in 2010, and the team has gone from strength to strength ever since; finishing joined first in Edinburgh’s intramural league last season. The social scene at the team is equally strong, Wednesday socials are religiously well attended, and although the club is part-funded by Edinburgh University’s History Society, the most recent cohort of players was made up of students from multiple local universities and course disciplines. The team even organised its own international tour two years in a row, first to Malta in 2019, and then to Lisbon in February of this year. The club hopes to go abroad again in 2021 – restrictions permitting.
The club’s committee have also made extensive plans to ensure that coronavirus does not jeopardise the future of the team. Health and safety has been taken seriously, with plans in place to run a COVID-secure taster session which complies with Scottish government guidelines. This will involve sanitising equipment, breaking training up into smaller groups, quarantining or avoiding the use of specific kit and ensuring that track and trace protocols are followed. The club is also in constant liaison with Scottish Rugby, Edinburgh University and the Edinburgh University Sports Union to ensure that guidelines are always met.
Plans are also in place for the zoom socials to welcome new members and kick off the 2020/21 academic year. While golf has become the pastime of many of the club’s members as they patiently wait to return to Edinburgh’s array of pubs, as well as stick the boots on again.
If you are interested in joining HBRFC, the COVID-secure taster session will only involve small games of touch and light drills. The session is taking place on Wednesday 23rd September on The Meadows, just off Middle Walk between 1pm and 3pm. All are welcome, regardless of student status or rugby playing ability. See the electronic flyer below or click here to view the facebook event.