This Saturday, August 28, was held in Pont-du-Casse in Lot-et-Garonne the general assembly of the New Aquitaine Rugby League. At the dawn of a season that we hope will be post-Covid, there are still many questions among players in amateur rugby. President Michel Macary looks down.
Among the players, the excitement is there a few days before the resumption of competitions. What about the president of the Ligue de Nouvelle-Aquitaine?
We are impatient too! We felt that an opening was made in relation to the possibility of practicing. We hope that one thing: to approach this 2021/2022 season under the best sanitary auspices. Don’t be upset in the weeks or months to come. This is why I encouraged and encouraged, during this general assembly, all players in the rugby community to adhere to the generalized vaccination procedure. The health pass is the necessary path for an evolution and an exit from the health crisis in my opinion.
There are still many amateur players who are reluctant to resume a license for fear of seeing the season end again. This is what should prevent the introduction of the health pass in the practice of rugby?
Yes although no one can say what the health hazard will be. I am not a doctor. Besides, I am one of the people who did not rush to get the vaccine! But I think it’s a question of national solidarity, which echoes the values of rugby and its community. We don’t want to relive white seasons and confinements. We want to find the stadiums, club life and flourish in sports arenas.
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been concern for the future of certain clubs, especially the smaller ones, by the loss of licensees, volunteers or revenue. What feedback do you have on this?
From a financial standpoint, quite frankly, I have no alerts on the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. In terms of numbers, some clubs need time to assess the number of players who will re-engage. Overall, it is going in a positive way. Afterwards, in some cases, there are still weakened clubs. I hope that in the days to come, as many teams as possible will be able to sign up for good.
In Nouvelle-Aquitaine, how many clubs have already told you that they will not resume?
There are one or two clubs that have been weakened. We are still awaiting their final returns. Of the 370 clubs in the region, rugby is doing well. Moreover, on June 30, the French Olympic and Sports Committee released a survey revealing that our sport was the best in terms of the loss of licensees among team sports. The credit goes to the clubs which have been able to maintain the link to maintain the membership. And the FFR thanks to its support and recovery plan.
For a few months also, the clubs have been supported by the Campus 2023 operation. What are the first feedback?
This device intervenes within the framework of the World Cup. It was important because it is an event that never happened. The Federation wished to integrate young people professionally, in work-study programs, and to take advantage of a reception structure such as clubs. It is beneficial for everyone. For the club, it is a resource – a skill that can allow it to focus on areas of work on which it was not used to being. This can be on communication, commercial, administrative, accounting and financial. It is very recent but it is already a success. The only downside was that there was a lack of candidates in rural areas. The apprentices were more interested in the cities.
The clubs wonder a lot about the reception of the public in their stadium with the obligation of the sanitary pass …
It is true that this is a constraint for the clubs. They must ensure access to the stadiums with presentation of the health pass. It does indeed require organization. But I think the legislator will also understand that in certain rural areas, we do not necessarily have closed or fenced sports grounds. It is important all the same that each club ensures this control. The visiting teams will have done this work before each trip (check before getting on the bus). The reception of the public will therefore be as in establishments which receive the public such as restaurants and cafes. It is also an obligatory passage on which it is necessary to conform.