PLEASE READ - Letter from Laura Wakefield, Essex Chair of Discipline

PLEASE READ - Letter from Laura Wakefield, Essex Chair of Discipline

By Nicki Kemp
24 October
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The contents of the letter needs to be brought to the attention of all players, coaches, supporters and members.


Imposition of Additional Sanctions by Essex Disciplinary Committee

Dear Club Officer,

I am writing to update your club on the current issues before the Essex Discipline Committee and inform you of our intention to impose additional sanctions to those set out by the RFU, in certain circumstances, should we feel it appropriate.

After 7 weeks of the season we have had 8 cases of match official abuse, 4 of these have been
committed by spectators or coaches. We need to make clear that each club is responsible for the behaviour of their supporters, and there is an expectation that club personnel should protect match officials. As a Committee we have the authority to impose further sanctions as a deterrent measure and therefore I am writing to give notice to all Clubs that we will add up to 4 additional weeks to the sanction given to a player or a spectator found guilty of any form of abuse, verbal or physical, of a match official. We will also consider deduction of league points, removal of a club from cup competitions, and the holding of games in a closed environment, in order to protect both officials and the reputation of our sport.

We are receiving regular reports of a general decline in behaviour both on the touchline and within clubhouses. As a sport we pride ourselves on good sportsmanship and also our ability to socialise with and enjoy the company of match officials, the opposition and their supporters. It is deeply worrying to hear that this ethos is slipping. Please ensure your club does its part in upholding the core values and is welcoming to all. The RFU has a range of resources from posters to fliers that you can request for free to help you get that message across. Do make sure you make clear to all players, supporters, and their families, the expectations that rugby as a sport, and you as a club have as to their behaviour. Be explicit that they as individuals, and you as a club, will be made to account for any lapse. Abuse will not be tolerated and your club will be penalised should anyone connected with the club breach the standards expected by the RFU.

I am willing to visit clubs to give a discipline presentation or come out and talk if that would help you to get the message across.

Please ensure the contents of this letter are widely circulated at all levels of your club. Each club should ensure their Discipline Secretary emails me to confirm receipt of this letter.

Yours in rugby,

Laura Wakefield
Chair Essex CB Disciplinary Committee
Tel - 07778289676
Email – laurawakefieldwork@gmail.com

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