BOXING Day is a day known for its sports – with Welsh rugby derbies and club games regularly held on the day each year alongside a full calendar of football matches.

This year, however, was a bit of a washout, with derbies cancelled and games that were set to go ahead being impacted by the restrictions on supporters.

However, Caerphilly RFC came up with a clever way of being able to accommodate a number of their supporters for their annual Over 30s v Under 30s match.

The Welsh Government’s restrictions on viewing live sports came into effect on Boxing Day and allow just 50 supporters to watch matches live at the ground.

So, Caerphilly RFC had their 50 in the ground watching the game - and used their newly -installed security cameras to live stream the game to the clubhouse, where another 140 were watching.

This was perfectly in line with the rules as there is no limit on people indoors, providing social distancing and the rule of six are in place.

“It’s disappointing that we can have 50 outside but 140 inside,” said Gareth Ashman, chairman of Caerphilly RFC.

“Our risk assessments showed that we could have these inside with tables of six and social distancing in place.

“We installed the security cameras three weeks ago due to issues we were having, and realised it was the only way we could get around the restrictions. It worked really well.”

Mr Ashman said that there are no plans in place for the future games at the moment but that the streaming of the game like they did on Boxing Day is an option, although he believes that it would not work long-term as they would suffer financially due to the limits put in place. They are awaiting to see what support will be provided by the Welsh Government for those impacted as well as what the Welsh Rugby Union are going to do to support the clubs.

“We have no end date for the restrictions," he said. "We have lost out on so much revenue. We usually get around 500-1,000 people at our games, sometimes up to 2,000 and we rely on the gate money.

“Even in the clubhouse we took less than we would usually because we would have to limit the number of people we can have inside to comply with the restrictions. We’re waiting to hear what the WRU will do to support the clubs, whether they’ll suspend the league until the restrictions are over or not.

“We need to know what is being given in terms of support as we know there is no furlough support from Westminster.”

Mr Ashman highlighted how it not only affects the club but also the sponsors. He said: “The sponsors are also affected as they are not getting the coverage they expected through the coverage deals we offered them as well because there is not as many people allowed in the ground.”

He also spoke about the differing restrictions – and lack thereof – in the rest of the UK. “When you look across the border and see there’s no restrictions," he said. "In Scotland they have restrictions but its 500 people, we have a capacity of 6,000 so we could easily space 500 out across the ground.”