Suisserugby’s Statement regarding an exit from the Lockdown
Zurich, 23.04.2020 - On 22.04.2020, the Swiss Federal Council made its first statement on the subject of an "Exit from the lockdown" for sport in Switzerland. The Swiss Rugby Union welcomes the fact thatthis shows a will by the government to draw up a roadmap for the resumption of sport in Switzerland. Although primary health care and the saving of human lives must of course be at the top of the list of priorities, sport nevertheless plays an important role in exiting the special situation we have all been experiencing for 6 weeks and more, and in getting back into economic and social life. This was also underlined by the Federal Council on 22.04.2020 *.
We were furthermore delighted to hear Federal Councillor Viola Amherd mention our sport, which is small in Switzerland, by name for the first time ever, together with our "cousins", American football**. Because one could just as well have mentioned traditional football, ice hockey, basketball, or handball, it is a special honour for us to be quoted here, as this shows the importance of fringe sports in the Swiss sporting landscape.
While it is logical that individual outdoor sports, as well as those where participants don't come closer than several meters, may be resumed sooner than indoor sports, team sports, and contact sports, it is nevertheless important and necessary that a sport such as rugby (a team contact sport) can gradually make its way out of the lock-down.
Together with Swiss Olympic, the Olympic Committe which also acts as the umbrella organisation of all sports federations in Switzerland, the Swiss Rugby Union is therefore working on an exit concept from the lockdown, naturally accompanied by a concept of protection for its members and their families and communities.
The sport of rugby is characterised not only by its toughness, but also by the values it conveys and which its players and supporters largely live by. Concepts such as solidarity, courage, team spirit, discipline, respect, and cohesion, are commonplace for the rugby player and are gaining enormously in importance for the whole of society, especially in the current climate.
Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, the Swiss rugby family has been proud to stand in solidarity with those who are weaker, older, or otherwise exposed to higher risks by following and advocating all the necessary protective measures from distancing to staying at home. It is our tradition and part of our responsibility as Swiss Rugbymen and -Women to support each other and our communities. It will still be a long and challenging time, but even as we slowly emerge from the crisis, sport in general and rugby in particular has an important role to play in providing physical and psychological support to our members and in rebuilding our communities and social life.
We know the Suisserugby Family can count on each other for support in this time.
Veronika Muehlhofer, CEO
* "The great importance of sport for mental and physical health is undisputed" Federal Councillor Viola Amherd at the press conference on 22.04.2020
** "Certainly not rugby or American football, but sports with little or no physical contact should be able to take place again" Federal Councillor Viola Amherd at the press conference on 22 April 2020
PHOTOS BY JÜRGEN KESSLER SPORTFOTOGRAFIE