As rugby clubs up and down the country wait for a date for the 2020/21 season to start, Hull RUFC are not wasting their time waiting.
The Chants Ave club are preparing for the new campaign to start as originally scheduled in September.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which brought a premature end to the 2019/20 season by the RFU with Hull sitting eighth with seven games to play, could force a delay in the start of the new season.
But as soon as the go-ahead is given, Hull will be ready to go.
Next Monday (June 8), the squad will commence their pre-season training while maintaining social distancing as per the guidelines set out by the Government.
The players are unable to meet up for training as they would have last season, but that’s not going to stop the players from keeping their fitness levels up to the level required of them.
And while they train for their second season in National 2 North, they intend to raise money to show their appreciation for the NHS who have put their lives on the line to care for those who have been affected by COVID-19.
The players hope their training programme ‘with a difference’ can help raise £2,000 for the NHS and the club by running to all 15 of the grounds they will hopefully be visiting in next season’s National 2 North, virtually of course.
That’s a total of 1,150 kilometres. The squad will be broken into groups – props, back-row forward’s, half-backs and backs.
Head coach Martin Webdale believes the innovative training routine will get the players’ fitness levels up to where he wants them to be if he season starts in September, as scheduled.
“It’s a good challenge for all the players,” he said.
“We want to get the players fit and raise some money for the NHS, who have done a tremendous job during this pandemic.
“The players will train using the Strava app which is a GPS running app that tracks a person’s running using Google Maps.
“It logs the distance covered and works out that each player will run 15 kilometres per week over a four-week period, starting next Monday.
“We have set up a JustGiving page and our aim is to raise £2,000.”
One of the players behind the idea is prop Mike Dias.
“What crazy times!
“As a club we have been really patient getting our house in order and making sure we are ready to go once we get the nod and it’s safe to do so!
“I think the hardest thing has been not having that social banter and competitiveness while training or playing games.
“The coaches have been really eager to get something arranged to help bring us together as a team with something challenging but also rewarding.
“It goes without saying the NHS have been unbelievable really and we can only imagine the hardship some of them have endured.
“As a club if we can do our little bit and at the same time get some collectiveness, it’s a win/win situation.”
To donate, please visit our JustGiving here – https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/hull-rufc?utm_term=2j8YDPzbr