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Ripon RUFC, leading the way in first aid injury reporting

By Becky Naylor

In the world of volunteers, one of the most difficult roles is that of the team first aider. And yet, it is possibly one of the most important.

At Ripon RUFC we are very aware of what our volunteers have to deal with and we are keen to make their lives as easy as possible. Let's face it, without them we do not function.

Week in, week out, teams of volunteers turn out across the country, to help and support the thousands of rugby players from the age of six to you really should know better. The RFU’s recommendation that each team should have at least one first aider is an aim to aspire to, at Ripon we are very lucky that we have exceeded this recommendation. With the support of the executive committee, the first aid coordinator and the safe guarding team we have been able to support the training of over 40 volunteers who help look after our players on the pitch as first aiders.

But that is only half of the story, historically it has been difficult to encourage those volunteers to report any incidents in a timely manner. It is important that we keep track of any trends or issues that could affect our players, without consistent reporting it is impossible to monitor problem areas.

The RFU’s Rugby Safe team are keen to promote best practice and it is important that they have access to a realistic over view of what types of injury players are experiencing. It is down to the clubs to provide that information if required.

The First Aid coordinator at Ripon, Jay Chester-Bristow became quite frustrated with the lack of reporting and realised that to get the first aiders to comply she would have to do something positive to help make their lives as easy as possible. After giving it some thought she came up with the idea of an online reporting system that the first aiders could use pitch side to report an injury immediately it happened. She ran the idea past Becky Naylor from Bronco, and the Ripon RUFC injury reporting portal was born.

The portal can be added to any phone, tablet or laptop and is easily accessible, it consists of several dropdown menus with a minimum amount of text to give the relevant information and includes a head injury section which can be linked to the return to play protocol. The information is sent to a secure GDPR compliant data base that can run off relevant reports at season end. The first aid coordinator receives an email confirmation of every report filed which enables her to support the volunteers and flag up any potential areas for concern. This will also make any information easily accessible and makes the lives of our volunteers so much easier.

The portal had been rolled out to all of the Ripon teams and can be adjusted and improved if necessary. So far the feedback has been positive and injury reporting has become much less of a chore.

Updated 09:24 - 11 Dec 2018 by Becky Naylor

Where next?

Director of Rugby Role - Vacancy The club would like to recruit a new Director of Rugby into the vacant role. Closing date for applicants is Noon on Monday 14th January 2019
Briggsy's Blog Adam Briggs' blog from today's match day programme

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