Serious concerns for player welfare as 75% of amateur rugby clubs 'don’t have adequate medical provision'


Monday 29 October 2018

Press contact

Press team
02477657788
press.mea@coventry.ac.uk


Three quarters of amateur rugby clubs don’t meet the standards for medical provision required to help injured players, new research has found.

Many clubs do not have sufficiently trained medical staff pitch-side during a match or training; they lack key medical equipment such as stretchers and spinal boards; and there is no access to a defibrillator.

Coventry and Hartpury Universities carried out the first ever study to investigate whether amateur rugby clubs’ medical personnel, facilities and equipment provision met the requirements outlined by Rugby Football Union (RFU) regulations.

The researchers found that only a quarter of 91 clubs surveyed were compliant with these regulations.

Nearly a third of the clubs were unsure if their medical personnel had any first aid qualifications.

Around one in four clubs had no access to medical personnel or only one person in this role.

Two thirds of clubs did not have access to a defibrillator and around one in five did not have easy access for emergency services vehicles to reach them.

Clubs told the researchers that the cost of trained medical personnel prevented them providing the same provision to all of their teams and for both training and match days.

The researchers also believe there’s a lack of awareness within smaller clubs of the importance of adequate medical provision.

And they said clubs can get away without having the correct provision, as the RFU doesn’t check on or enforce its own rules.

While there’s growing awareness of the risk of head injuries and concussions in the game and of sudden cardiac arrest in the top flight of the sport, not enough attention is paid to the health risks for amateur players, say the researchers.

The research has been published in the Irish Journal of Medical Science.

 

Research associate at Coventry University’s School of Life Sciences, said:

These were shocking results. We have serious concerns for players’ health, safety and welfare and are urging the RFU to look at this issue in depth and overhaul the regulations to protect players. This cannot be ignored. It’s a poor show by the RFU that they are not enforcing their own regulations.

There have been really high profile discussions about concussion and head injuries in rugby at the Premier League and international level. But no one is talking about the thousands of people across the country who play grassroots rugby every weekend and are being put at risk because clubs don’t have the correct medical standards in place. At the end of the day, we want a safer environment for people to play the sport they love.

Dr Cain Clark

Senior lecturer in sports therapy at Hartpury University, who was also involved in the study, added:

Grass level rugby clubs require more support and education into how to employ the correct medical practitioners to ensure the club meets the guidelines, they have the responsibility to their players.

Hollie Bailey
 

For further press information, please contact the Press team, on 02477657788 or email press.mea@coventry.ac.uk.

Related news

17
Oct

‘Inspiring’ university health and science building wins award

The Alison Gingell Building won the inspiring learning space category at the Education Estates awards.

2018

10
Sep

Sporting students race their way to victory at Transplant Games

Coventry students past, present and future have once again triumphed at the British Transplant Games - bringing home medals and helping hundreds of athletes stay on...

2018

27
Aug

Salsa dancers ‘less likely to get injured than Zumba dancers’

Coventry University researchers found they suffer a similar rate of injuries as ballroom dancers.

2018

Coventry University ranked 15 in the UK
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year for student experience
Coventry University UK top new University 2018
Coventry City of Culture 2021