Edan Lewis is glad to be back on the Langley Rugby playing field after months of solitary practicing while the COVID-19 outbreak put most sports on hold.
Now – with limits – play has resumed.
“I’m really just enjoying being able to play and practice with other people,” the Walnut Grove resident, who plays with the Junior team, told the Langley Advance Times.
“It’s more motivating.”
As he spoke, Lewis was lacing up for a Sunday afternoon (Nov. 8) practice with teammates at the Langley Rugby field on Crush Crescent.
Under COVID-19 guidelines, there are several restrictions, including limits on the number of players allowed on the field at any one time, requiring players to promise they haven’t been exposed to the virus before they come to practices, and parents not allowed to sit in the stands.
If parents want to watch their kids play, they have to stay in their cars in the parking lot, lined up facing the field like vehicles in a drive-in movie.
During workouts, players can run passing practices and fitness drills, but full contact is not allowed.
“No tackling,” coach Colleen Dzogan said, several times, as she put her group of players through their paces Sunday.
“We have some really good tacklers, but we just can’t do it,” Dzogan commented off the field.
“Practice is a little different” Coach Jonathan Bright observed.
“We try to keep them apart.”
“Things aren’t normal, we haven’t had a season or any games,” Bright went on to say.
“But getting out in the sunshine and having the camaraderie back, work a sweat up, and just be together as a team, is going to be good for the boys.”
Bright agrees that younger players have less difficulty respecting the no-tackle rule than older players with ingrained full-contact habits.
“They [young players] listen better when I yell at them,” Bright smiled.
Before the pandemic hit, the club ran several teams including minis (5 years and up), junior boys and girls, women, and two squads of senior men.
Under the BC Rugby plan, clubs were required to complete the World Rugby COVID-19 courses and appoint one or more COVID-19 Safety Coordinators.
As well, until further notice, BC Rugby will require participants in any in-person rugby session to complete an attestation that they do not have COVID-19 and have not been in contact with a confirmed or possible case within the previous 14 days.
Formally known as the British Columbia Rugby Union, BC Rugby is the governing body for the sport in British Columbia and represents over 7,500 individuals in 60 member clubs and associations in the province.