• John Coumbe-Lilley

Beyond Covid-19: returning to rugby

My last post was on Match 20th it seems so long ago that we were planning our spring season, thinking of all the positive things and breaks that could come our way. Then the pandemic took hold and got us in its grip. Over the last ten weeks, we have come together as a club to support each other, share home workouts, keep long-standing friendships, and build new ones. We have seen our teammates suffer employment difficulties, work stress, and mounting challenges. Our rugby community has stayed connected and secure through it all.

These days, new leaders emerged to lift our spirits and brighten our days. North Shore Stars of the past and present contributed to weekly podcasts and discussions, giving career, nutrition, and life insights. We met twice per week for virtual practice sessions for six weeks. Rookies and veterans blended, and the relationship between Chicago Women and Chicago North Shore strengthened.

Spring is here, the weather has shown up, COVID-19 health restrictions are easing, and we are planning our gentle return to rugby training. We will observe the best practices for health and safety following World Rugby requirements, as well as our local authority guidelines.

As I return to rugby, my thoughts and well wishes go to the families, essential professionals, and friends touched by the negative impact of the pandemic. When life is at stake, playing rugby is a luxury, and I will not forget what happened to us this spring. I hope we never to face another spring like this, and I hope for all members of the rugby community, the best of health outside the lines so that we can play worry-free between the lines.

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