January 21, 2022 5:46 pm

How proven: rugby spreads solidarity, not Covid

There is no sport that has been so punished by the excessive restrictions that were tried to stop the pandemic as rugby. At the international level, the Pumas received such a forceful blow that it modified its essence from the dissolution of Super Rugby and the consequent departure of all its players to Europe. At the local level, the cancellation of all competitive events for more than a year and a half not only altered the daily lives of the players who make this sport a way of life but also severely injured many clubs, especially the most deprived.

“In competitive categories there are 20% fewer signings and there are 40% of clubs that are in a difficult situation due to the lack of players.” The enunciation of Santiago Marotta, president of URBA, in his interview for THE NATION, is revealing. The aftermath of the pandemic, or rather, of the quarantine, will take time to heal. He said it in the run-up to the semifinals of the URBA Top 12, which this weekend they will hold, at CASI, Newman against CUBA (this Saturday, at 17) and SIC vs. Hindu (Sunday).

Newman vs Regatas, in one of the Top 12 matches of 2021, in the return of domestic rugbyHernĂ¡n Zenteno – THE NATION

The decline has some logic. Rugby is a sport that requires a lot of preparation. Even in the minor categories, there are workouts two or three times a week, plus two or three gym sessions. Therefore, the return was not easy. Apart from all the bureaucratic obstacles that had to be overcome in order for the activity to return, obstacles that were not imposed on other sports, it was necessary to contemplate a considerable pre-season period. It is not surprising that many have turned to other less demanding sports, of more immediate satisfaction and where there was no such uncertainty.

Rugby is also a contact sport. Of much close contact and little social distance, to use terms covideanos. When the competition began at the end of July, not a few predicted waves of contagion inside the clubs. Nevertheless, a single game in the Top 12 had to be suspended due to an outbreak in a club, plus another in First A, in a contest that brings together 92 clubs divided into seven categories. “This shows that rugby is not contagious,” said Marotta.

La Plata Rugby fought to return to the Top 12
La Plata Rugby fought to return to the Top 12

The URBA put in place a solidarity scaffolding to ensure that those clubs that were most affected by the flight of players survived, which are mostly clubs with more scarce resources since they depend on the contribution of each of their members and that play an important role social and formative that exceeds rugby.

What an amendment, then, to that postulate of Marotta. Rugby does not spread Covid, it spreads solidarity.


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