The uncertain future of Athy Rugby Club in recent weeks due to struggles with securing insurance was thankfully resolved, but their difficulties has now prompted other rugby clubs to reassess their own standing.
The 140-year-old south Kildare rugby club with strong Laois connections endured weeks of uncertainty and were very nearly forced to close their doors due to being unable to secure public liability insurance. The club had two claims, one historic and one pending, and issued a letter to members outlining their struggles.
In the end, the club agreed terms through the IRFU and Aon for insurance cover with Aviva Insurance, thus resolving the issue for the year ahead.
In the wake of the struggles that neighbouring club Athy faced, Portarlington RFC have issued a statement from their Club Committee in an effort to prevent facing similar difficulties themselves in the future:
"You may be aware of the position which was faced by our neighbouring club Athy in recent weeks where, due to insurance issues, they were on the brink of ceasing operation. We were relieved to hear that the position was resolved, with the assistance of the IRFU, and the threat was lifted. It did, however, raise a very important situation that every sporting organisation needs to be conscious of in relation to club membership.
"The committee met on Monday last and discussed the situation at length. The position which was agreed was that EVERYONE who takes to the pitch in Portarlington RFC must be a registered and paid member of the club - until this is done they will not be covered by insurance and are a potential liability to the operation of the club.
"With this understood we are requesting all coaches and team managers to ensure that all of their players are members and to communicate the official club position to them. The membership rates for the club are as listed on the table below and are available to be paid online on the club website https://www.portarlingtonrugby.com/payments/category/membership or directly to any member of the committee. Membership payment day/night will be arranged and communicated for those who would like to pay directly. The club regrets the need to make this communication but I do hope you appreciate the situation that the club must manage for all of our members.
"Special / Extenuating circumstances will be handled with the appropriate level of privacy if contact is made directly to the club David Hainsworth (email@example.com)."