Busy Mansfield finally set for return to rugby action
After keeping busy and fit during the lockdowns, Mansfield Rugby Club finally roar back into league action a week on Saturday (25th September) with a trip to Birstall in the Midlands Division, Midlands Three East (North).
Chairman Pete Steffen said: “We are really looking forward to starting the 2021-2022 season with no restrictions after prematurely finishing last season due to Covid-19.
“During the closed season the club and its members have done some amazing things to keep them busy and the club buoyant during the hard times.
“We have seen players performing head shaves to raise funds for Kings Mill Hospital staff.
“On the back of this fund raiser the rugby club donated all their bar stock including soft drinks, water and snacks to deserving KMH staff.
“Another main venture came in the guise of a 30-Day Challenge where, people from every area of the club, such as staff, parents, and players, raised money for the club by taking part in their individual or team challenges ranging from sponsored runs, long distance walks, rowing, cycling as well as skills and strength tests.
“The ‘Just Giving’ page set up raised a staggering £21,000.
“Equally as important, this kept the club bonded together during this unprecedented period. It's what families do and I was so proud to be part of it.
“As we approach the league season the players are in fine form, training really hard and seem very eager to get their league account underway on the 25th September.”
Head coach Wayne Robinson said everything was now on course after a lengthy, frustrating time.
“Covid-19 stopped us playing rugby from March 2020,” he said.
“We endured several iterations of the RFU’s ‘Return to Rugby Roadmaps’ ranging from ‘Touch Rugby’ to ‘Adapted Rugby’ through the lockdown periods.
“The Colts team, run by Peter Haskell, joined forces with the Seniors when the RFU Roadmap allowed us to.
“We have trained and played touch rugby in small groups together. Integrating the teams has helped mesh the players together and assist their mental health and physical well-being.
“The focus has been on the full return to rugby which has now arrived some 18 months on.
“The Senior and Junior sections have played several internal touch competitions on Saturdays and latterly asked local clubs to join us.
“We then transitioned into the ‘Adapted’ game which was well received as contact is a major part of the game.
“After a break at the end of May, pre-season training started with good numbers and a clear focus for the up-and-coming season. We are where we need to be at the start of the league season ahead.”