Club Spotlight: Providence Rugby (COVID Edition)

COVID-19 really threw a monkey wrench into all our rugby plans in 2020. But it is not stopping clubs from making the most of the situation and ensuring rugby is still part of our lives.

Providence Rugby is a star example of a NERFU club that remains persistent in the face of adversity. A crack team of coaches and admin have thoroughly adapted their practices to align with recommended and required health measures.

Men’s and women’s teams have been holding joint practices once a week. Every player is required to fill out a waiver before coming to any practice. Players must sign up via our TeamSnap app to attend and complete a health check screening before each practice. The practice is broken up into groups of 10 and each group uses a separate section of the field. The practices focus on skill work, fitness, ball handling and communication.

Masks are required upon entry and departure of the space. Coaches always wear masks. Before entering the practice space, each player is scanned with a no touch digital thermometer and verbally confirms they are feeling well. Balls are sanitized with a bleach spray before, during and after practice. No equipment is shared. Physical distancing is maintained between players.

An outstanding group of coaches help run practices: Kathy Flores is head coach of Brown University’s Women’s team and also a USA Rugby Hall of Fame inductee; Chris Palomba, RWU Men’s Head Coach and former Providence Rugby president and player, and; Matt Medina, Providence Rugby’s Assistant Coach and formerly Providence player, captain and board member as well as Assistant Coach of Bryant University Men. Providence’s teams are also greatly supported by their entire board who have been working extremely hard to make sure they can be out there together but also staying safe and following state guidelines.

On top of practices Providence has also been able to run a couple of fundraisers that the club is very excited about including their Savers Drive in which they donated 4400 pounds of clothes, and their upcoming Annual Golf Tournament which is looking like it’ll be their biggest ever!

Congratulations to Providence Rugby for turning lemons into rugby balls!