Protecting the Health and Wellbeing of Rugby Players and Support Staff from an Occupational Safety and Health Perspective during Return to Play in A Global Pandemic

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Title: Protecting the Health and Wellbeing of Rugby Players and Support Staff from an Occupational Safety and Health Perspective during Return to Play in A Global Pandemic
Authors: Chen, YanbingKelly, SeamusBuggy, Conor J.
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Date: 8-Mar-2021
Online since: 2021-05-10T09:31:30Z
Abstract: Background: The contact nature of rugby with intensive physical interaction often exposes its players to a high risk of injury and illness. Compliance with prescribed safety guidelines when returning to play during the COVID-19 pandemic is important for both rugby players and their support staff ’s health and wellbeing. Methods: This paper explores health and hygiene awareness in a rugby context and provides insights on practical return-to-play (RTP) solutions during the COVID-19 crisis. This study was conducted through interviews with 15 senior rugby support staff employed in elite rugby. A thematic analysis was adopted emphasising the need for a consideration of hygiene and social distancing practices arising from COVID-19. Results: Players are exposed to the risk of trauma resulting in skin abrasions and lacerations etc. which may aggregate the risk of infectious diseases. A level of micromanagement practices that builds on the current situation are essential, considering rugby players in a high level of fitness condition and at a relatively young age can be overly confident with their ability to deal with the risk of illness. Player awareness such as symptom reporting and RTP after unwellness is required for ensuring their health and wellbeing and of their fellow players as well as support staff during the back to field process. Conclusions: Returning to rugby practice and competition will require a level of micromanagement and player safety awareness education to achieve the goal of optimally protecting the players from potential illness and/or spreading it to fellow players and support staff.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Journal of Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Advances
Journal: Journal of Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Advances
Volume: 1
Issue: 1
Start page: 5
End page: 13
Copyright (published version): 2021 the Authors
Keywords: COVID-19Athlete health and wellbeingReturn-to-playSafety awarenessTeam sportsRugbyCoronavirus
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License:
Appears in Collections:Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science Research Collection

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