The Welsh Rugby Union have announced they will provide an additional £600,000 fund to help clubs returning to action following the coronavirus lockdown. The new funding means the WRU have now committed over £1million in funding to clubs over the past six months.
The funding was announced as part of a lengthy status update issued from WRU CEO Martyn Phillips.
In the statement, Phillips paints an optimistic picture as clubs prepare to return to the pitch following the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Rugby will be back,” Phillips said. “And rugby will be better if we all put in place the things we have learned during this hiatus.
“Life after this pandemic will never be the same and it can be better than it was before,” he explained.
“There are many factors that mean we can come out of the other side of this crisis stronger than when we went in.
“This is why we have committed a further £600,000 to member clubs… taking the total amount of emergency funding for clubs to more than £1m in the last six months.”
The £600,000 funding is aimed to help clubs buy equipment or make any necessary adaptations to facilities that may be required to meet coronavirus related social distancing measures.
“We are pleased to announce that a one-off £600,000 fund will be made available to member clubs to support return to play protocols and to assist with the purchase of equipment or adaptations to premises/facilities that may be required as a result of CV-19 related social distancing measures,” a WRU statement read.
“The £600,000 will include the central procurement of items such as PPE with grants awarded to individual clubs on a criteria and assessment of need basis.
“All clubs will be eligible to apply for a grant for qualifying expenditure within the scheme and the amounts awarded by the WRU can potentially be increased further by external funding sources.”
“Following a period of consultation via the recent Club Impact Survey, the findings identified clubs were protected for a minimum of six months,” said WRU Community Director Geraint John.
CEO Martyn Phillips says club rugby is preparing for 'the greatest of comebacks' as he predicts post-pandemic progress 'through a lens of hope' in the latest WRU Status Update – plus a new £600k club fund is announced and much, much more:
— Welsh Rugby Union ? (@WelshRugbyUnion) July 1, 2020
“Consequently we have now outlined our intention to further financially support our clubs to prepare to return to rugby and remain at the heart of our communities.
“A Facilities Working Group has been established including club representatives to ensure that we continue to listen and support our community game in line with Welsh Government guidance.
“Further details on what types of expenditure will be supported and how clubs can apply for the grant element of the scheme will be provided shortly.”
The £600,000 fund will be in addition to the rugby and development grants for the 2020/21 season, with details on those grants due to be announced shortly.
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