Alltel Insight: Planning and Preparing in a Pandemic

by Rugby Vic Media

2020 has given people two options.

One, pondering on what could have been.

Or two, planning for the future.

Ballarat Rugby Club most definitely has gone with the latter.

The club has used this year to engage with its players, invest in new equipment and plan for the rugby seasons to come.

At the forefront of the clubs planning and preparations has been Patrick Quigley, who has been President of Ballarat Rugby Club since 2018.

We caught up with Patrick to gain some insight as to how the club has been staying connected this year and the clubs plans as they build towards the 2021 season.

How has the club and its players stayed connected throughout the challenging year that has been 2020?

The key to this has been the forming of an effective committee and from that we formed sub committees. One of the sub committees was tasked with concentrating on social events for the club.

Furthermore, when we formed the committee at the end of 2018 we made sure that we had representation from the playing group with modern IT skills. These two factors came into their own during both lockdowns. The sub committees organised virtual social nights, including trivia, overseas rugby broadcasts etc. This was all facilitated through Zoom meetings. It really worked very well and ensured the club maintained its identity.

Has the club made any significant plans/purchases that will propel the club forward in 2021?

Absolutely. We have certainly focused on the positives that we could take from 2020. The down time enabled us to concentrate on our longer term planning. Part of this was the purchase of a bespoke scrum machine representing the largest purchase in the clubs history. We are also looking at a major partnership with a local education provider which, if successful, will mean that BHRUFC will be visible to a national audience and will have use of state of the art sports facilities.

We have also engaged Ballarat Council, with whom we have a good relationship, forging ahead with plans that will see the club provided with new changing rooms, shower facilities and social room.

Further to this, we now have representation on our committee from the soon to be created women’s section of the club. We are aiming for a women’s sevens side and we are looking forward to attracting more women to the club and growing women’s rugby. As you can see, we have been very busy!

When does preseason training begin for Seniors and Juniors?

Pre-season for the seniors will commence in February and in regard to our Juniors, we will look to kick this off when the new school year starts in 2021.

Why should people be excited about Ballarat Rugby Club heading into the 2021 season?

Well, for all of the reasons stated above. But, the potential for the group to have access to fantastic sports facilities, the media coverage of the club is spreading year on year and the growth of the playing group including Women’s and Juniors.

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