The Connacht Rugby Club & Community team are delighted to share details of the 2020 TotalHealth Connacht Rugby Summer SkillZone, a one-day event which will allow children to #ReturnToRugby in their community in a safe and healthy environment.

As you are aware, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of the annual Connacht Rugby Summer Camps, a disappointing but necessary decision as rugby in Ireland and the country itself dealt with an unprecedented challenge.

Now, as we all gradually work towards “the new normal”, Club & Community staff at Connacht have been busy preparing for a new type of offering for young rugby players who would have normally found themselves at a weekly Summer Camp.

That offering is the Summer SkillZone, and it all kicks off next week!

What is the Summer SkillZone?

The Summer SkillZone with totalhealth Pharmacy is a two-hour, one-day event taking place at various clubs across the province, and is open to boys and girls between the ages of 6-12.

In these two hours, children will get to relive the enjoyment of rugby in their community with fellow players their own age, all under the guidance of fully accredited IRFU and Connacht Rugby coaches.

Most importantly, these SkillZones will be held in a safe and healthy environment, where the wellbeing of all attendees will be of absolute paramount importance.

Where will they be held?

So far there are ten clubs that will host a Summer SkillZone:

Friday August 7th: Connemara RFC
Monday August 10th: Castlebar RFC
Tuesday August 11th: Westport RFC
Wednesday August 12th: Ballinasloe RFC
Thursday August 13th: Sligo RFC
Monday August 17th: Tuam RFC
Tuesday August 18th: Claremorris RFC
Thursday August 20th: Galwegians RFC
Friday August 21st: Creggs RFC
Monday August 24th: Loughrea RFC
Tuesday August 25th: Monivea RFC

All SkillZones take place from 10am-12pm.

When are they on?

The first Summer SkillZone kicks off on Friday 7th August in Connemara RFC, with further SkillZones scheduled for the remainder of August. The full schedule can be found below.

How much does it cost?

Entry is €20 per child and each child will also receive a free rugby ball upon arrival.

What additional health & safety measures will be in place?

Due to COVID-19 the health and safety of both your child and our staff is of the upmost importance. Therefore there will a number of changes to how we run and operate these events.

• The Summer SkillZones are for children aged 6 to 12 years, with children divided by age.

• Children will be placed in groups of eight and led by one coach. This 8:1 ratio is in line with IRFU and Sport Ireland guidelines.

• To ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines, the SkillZone will have fewer attendees then traditional camps, with a maximum of 48 spaces in some venues while others will have a maximum of 32.

• Pre-registration via online booking is essential. We will not be taking any children arriving to register on the morning of the event.

• Please ensure all your contact details are correct when submitting the online application as you will be contacted by a Connacht staff member 24-48 hours before the event.

• When contacted you will be provided with an additional Health Check document. This must be completed and submitted within 24 hours of the SkillZone. Failure to do so will lead to the child being refused entry to the event.

• The Summer SkillZone will be offered on a modified basis and there will be changes to rugby activities offered as per guidelines from IRFU.

• All SkillZone activities will be held outdoors and, apart from toilet facilities, there will be no indoor facilities available.

• All children are asked to bring their own water bottles.

• There will be a strict drop off and collection procedure in place at each venue. We are asking parents to follow our staffs lead on the day, to follow the one-way system in place, and to stay in their cars. Staff will sign-in each child from the car and guide them to their group and coach on pitch. Likewise at the end of event children, will be guided to their car by staff for pick-up.

• In the event of a child becoming unwell and/or having suspected COVID-19 symptoms, the parent/guardian will be contacted and asked to collect child immediately.

• If a case of COVID-19 is confirmed, Connacht Rugby will follow the latest HSE and Government guidelines.

• Each SkillZone will need a minimum number of attendees and will not be able to run if that number is not met. In this case the SkillZone would be cancelled and a refund will be issued.

• If a SkillZone is cancelled in advance due to HSE or government guidelines, refunds will be issued.

If you have any further questions about our procedures, please feel free to contact [email protected]

How can I book?

Booking for the initial locations is open in the link below. Please note that due to health & safety numbers will be capped at a limited capacity, so book now to avoid disappointment.

Please respect and observe all the measures we have put in place to make it as safe an environment for your child. We at Connacht Rugby are determined to deliver a fun rugby experience and are delighted to be getting back out into the communities again.