RETURNING TO CLUB SESSIONS FOLLOWING PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN (1.7.20)
Table tennis activity contributes to many health, social and economic benefits across the country and many of us will be missing the game, however it is vitally important that when activity is resumed it does not compromise the health and safety of individuals or communities.
We are looking at various scenarios that we might find ourselves in and considering how table tennis can return safely as soon as indoor activity is permitted by the government.
Resumption of sport and recreation activities will be based on objective health information to ensure they are conducted safely and do not risk increasing the spread of Covid 19, taking into account:
All decisions about resumption and activity must, at a minimum level, follow the guidance and advice outlined by Table Tennis England, Sport England and the Government. Our club will need to factor in our own playing environment and make decisions that are right for the club, and players.
To enable Newton Abbot Table Tennis Club to be prepared for resumption a number of measures, training and the production of documentation outlining our procedures need to be undertaken which will hopefully convince the school that we can return to play safely when the government announce that indoor sport may resume. The decision to allow community groups back into schools is ultimately down to individual schools and I am sure will require evidence of measures being undertaken by the groups to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
To this end I am putting together a number of documents on our website under the heading ‘Covid19 Documents’.
Our intention at the moment is to resume as soon as the Government and Teign School allow us to return. I have previously explained the many difficulties that an early return to club sessions will entail. It is hoped that over the coming months these restrictions will be lifted and we can return to some sort of normality.
Initially it is likely that the club sessions will be restricted to just one hour, which will require booking in advance, so it will be necessary to restructure our session fees. Further information on booking sessions, new times, procedures and how to pay will follow as we get closer to resumption. It is likely that we will just run the Friday night session, until things get back closer to normality.
To finish on a positive note the relevant Secretary of State, Oliver Dowden, has said ‘Subject to public health, our aspiration is to reopen gyms and leisure facilities in mid-July’. Table Tennis England have, at last, recognised that the majority of clubs hire premises and have said this is a ‘significant challenge to the return to our sport. Alongside other National Governing Bodies, we are in constant dialogue with Sport England regarding concerns about returning. These concerns are then fed into DCMS and Government. Whilst we will be lobbying to allow Clubs to go back to Schools, the ultimate decision lies with the individual schools’.