For any Goalball UK COVID-19 enquiries please contact Steve Cox (Responsible Officer): steve.cox@goalballuk.com, 07706 286 584.

Wednesday 22nd July 2020

Returning to Play – Update 

As we are getting closer to the reopening of leisure facilities, we understand that many of you will be eager to play goalball again.

The guidelines for playing goalball safely in the current environment are in progress. We are working with and must seek approval from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to ensure our guidance is in line with the government’s advice.

Once it is available, we urge everyone to read it carefully and to consider all the details before making a decision about returning to the court. We do not support goalball being played prior to the official guidelines being issued.

We are also in the process of reviewing the feedback from the questionnaire regarding this issue that we launched recently. All feedback is very welcome, so if you haven’t done so yet and want to have your voice heard, please take some time to complete it by following this link: ow.ly/i66F50AxBrx

If you would like any support and advice, we encourage you to reach out via your usual channels or email enquiries@goalballuk.com

Thank you for everyone’s patience.

END

Goalball UK staff are currently working from home and not from the Sheffield Office. Please use the contact details below to contact us

Mark Winder – Chief Executive Officer – 07711 049565

Email Address: mark@goalballuk.com

Faye Dale – National Talent Lead – 07526 169289

Email Address: faye@goalballuk.com

Kathryn Fielding – Participation/Coach Education and Visual Impairment Consultant 07795 263642

Email Address: kathryn@goalballuk.com

Steve Cox – Operations Manager (including Safeguarding Lead) – 07706 286584

Email Address: steve.cox@goalballuk.com

Alex Bunney – Participation Lead – 07716 666771

Email Address: alex.bunney@goalballuk.com

Tom Dobson – Club and Competitions Officer – 07526 169288

Email Address: tom.dobson@goalballuk.com

Stephen Newey – Children and Young People Officer – 077195 20528

Email Address: Stephen.newey@goalballuk.com 

ENDS

Monday 13th July 2020

Returning to Play – Goalball UK would like your view

Following the government’s latest move to ease lockdown measures, leisure centres and sports halls in England can reopen with restrictions from Saturday 25th July. These facilities are vital to every goalball club, so we know this decision will be warmly received.

At Goalball UK, we are continuing to plan what the next steps are for our sport with the aim of producing detailed return to play guidance for use across all of the Home Nations. As an indoor team sport, part of the process involves our guidance being signed off by Public Health England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport. More information about the requirements can be found here.

We would like your view on returning to play and would value your time in completing our short survey here; Goalball UK Return to Play Survey

We want to thank you all for your patience and the fantastic effort to follow the advice to stay home and keep active. As this situation is developing by the day, please continue to visit the following websites for the latest guidance – EnglandScotlandWalesNorthern Ireland.

As many measures are being eased, it is feeling that a return to normality is near. Nevertheless, it is still vitally important that we all continue to take every precaution to stay safe. We remain optimistic that we will be back on the court playing the sport we love soon.

If you would like any support and advice, we encourage you to reach out via your usual channels or email enquiries@goalballuk.com

END

Thursday 25th June 2020

Goalball UK statement: Leisure centres not reopening

With the government announcing that leisure centres are not to reopen in the next phase of measures to ease the lockdown, we understand this will be a disappointment to many involved with goalball who are excited to get back on the court.

Mid-July has been indicated as a target for these facilities to reopen. However, we are doing everything we can, alongside many other National Governing Bodies, to implore the government to provide more clarity and reassurances on this matter.

A joint statement from the Sport & Recreation Alliance, which we are signatories of, can be found below, along with comments from Mark Winder, Goalball UK’s CEO.

As always, if you are unsure about what the new measures that will be introduced on 4 July mean for you, please visit the government’s website in your country for the latest information and guidance – EnglandScotlandWalesNorthern Ireland.

If you feel like you require more support, or just want a chat about what this means, please reach out via the usual channels.

Mark Winder:

“We are disappointed by the decision not to prioritise the opening swimming pools and indoor leisure centres, where our sport is played. It is frustrating there is only a vague timeline for us to work against.

“Our Goalball Family is reliant on the services leisure centres provide. Leisure centres are essential to provide a safe environment for those with little or no useful vision. It is often impossible for people who are blind or partially sighted to exercise outdoors and social distancing guidance adds to the complexity and challenge to this.

“Whilst we recognise we are some way from operating in a normal capacity, this uncertainty continues to frustrate.

“We urge the government to be transparent and develop an action plan in the same way as other leisure activities have been given.”

Sport & Recreation Alliance:

“The announcement from government today that excludes the leisure and physical activity sector in England from re-opening the majority of its indoor facilities is deeply disappointing.

“During his statement, the Prime Minister gave no clear timetable as to when these facilities would be able to re-open. Subsequently, the Culture Secretary has publicly indicated an aspiration to re-open facilities from mid-July.

“We recognise this is a difficult situation, however the sector requires clear, consistent communication from government setting out the precise steps which need to be taken – and when – in order to reopen.

“We must be able to work alongside public health experts to resolve any outstanding problems. We are confident that we are in a position to open and if we are unable to, we must understand why and be given the opportunity to offer solutions.

“It is concerning that no further financial support has been offered to help those affected by the continued closure of these facilities and with many organisations already in financial distress, the lack of additional support will have a dramatic impact on the future of the sector.

“We recognise there is a fine balance to be struck and that any lockdown easing decisions need to be taken carefully, but utilising indoor space for physical activity is the only way that many people engage in sport and recreation, including a large number of people who are considered most vulnerable.

“We find ourselves in the middle of a public health crisis to which sport and recreation must be the answer. Yet we are in danger of losing the very ability to support the health and wellbeing of the nation at this crucial time.

“We want to be clear. We are ready to return.”

END

Tuesday 19th May 2020

Goalball UK Update

At Goalball UK, we are conducting regular conversations with all of our stakeholders about the ongoing and ever-changing situation. This includes what the latest guidance from the government means for our sport and how we can return to playing goalball safely.

The government in England has confirmed changes to what is allowed in relation to sport and physical activity as part of the next phase of its response to the Covid-19 outbreak. We encourage you all to follow the latest guidelines to remain active, but it does mean that club training is not to restart.

The new measures are:

  • People can go outside more than once a day for exercise if they’re following social distancing guidelines, are alone, with members of their household, or with one person from outside their household. People must still only exercise in groups of no more than two people, unless exercising with their household
  • Any facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities can reopen, if those responsible for them feel ready to do so and if they can do so safely, and in line with this and related public health guidance Any facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities can reopen from Wednesday 13 May 2020, if those responsible for them feel ready to do so and if they can do so safely, and in line with this and related public health guidance. Outdoor gyms, playgrounds, or outdoor swimming pools will remain closed.

For further advice about staying active during coronavirus, please visit Sport England’s website: https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/coronavirus

For more information about the latest government advice in your country, please visit:

Competition

We want to reassure everyone that we are doing everything we can so our leagues and competitions can get started as soon as it is possible. However, there are currently restrictions in place that are having an impact on the planning of the 2020/21 season. It is also of paramount importance that we consider all possible challenges that the goalball community may encounter once measures are lifted and we prepare to return to playing safely.

Upcoming Events

  • Goalball UK Conference 2020, Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th September
    We intend for the conference to go ahead. This may be via online tools, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, or at York St John University as planned. This will be based on the latest government advice closer to the time. The conference will be for the whole goalball family: Coaches, players, officials and parents. More details will be released in due course.
  • Cancelled: Summer Camp, August 2020 at RNC Hereford
    Unfortunately we are unable to run Summer Camp this year. We hope to be back running our goalball camps in 2021.

Like all of you, we are missing goalball, but we remain hopeful we will be back on the court soon. We will continue to provide updates on what we are doing and planning when that is possible. In the meantime, please stay safe and active.

If you would like any support and advice, we encourage you to reach out via your usual channels or email enquiries@goalballuk.com

END

Wednesday 15th April 2020

Dear Goalball Community,

Following the decision to cancel the remainder of the Goalball UK 2019/20 season due to Covid-19, the Club and Competitions Committee have considered how to complete league and goal scorer standings for the season.

Please follow the link below to read to full statement

http://goalballuk.com/competition/competitionupdate/

END

Tuesday 24 March 2:50pm

Dear Goalball Family,

I hope everyone is well during this challenging time. We felt it was time to update you with some important goalball related news. Following long and detailed discussions with Goalball UK staff, other National Governing Bodies and stakeholders we have come to a series of decisions, supported and promoted by the Club and Competition Committee. This includes cancelling all upcoming Goalball UK events and competitions for the remainder of the season.

We are presently working on a Communication Strategy that will be shared with you next week. We want to stay in touch with you while following the guidelines on social isolation. We would love to hear from you on many levels. Our contact details can be found here: http://goalballuk.com/covid-19-updates/

We are in close contact with Sport England and other partners to make sure support is available to help you keep active. We would love to see and hear about some of the ways you are staying active on social media; tag us in at @GoalballUK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #StayInWorkOut

Club Training

Based on the latest Government advice Goalball UK advises all clubs to cancel training sessions until further notice. We encourage all clubs and members to follow the government advice regarding social distancing during the coronavirus. The latest information can be found here. For club support please contact tom.dobson@goalballuk.com

Competitions

The following tournaments have been cancelled by Goalball UK:

· 21st March, Novice and Intermediate, Bristol

· 28th March, Novice and Intermediate, Sheffield

· 25th & 26th April, Elite, Birmingham

· 16th May, Novice Shield, Sheffield

· 6th June, London Cup, London

· 20th & 21st June, Goalfix Cup, London

· 4th July, End of Season, Sheffield

The Club and Competition Committee is currently reviewing and assessing the options for how the 2019/20 leagues will conclude regarding final standings.

Plans for next season 2020/21 are under review and information will be released when the situation is clearer.

Other Goalball UK events

All other Goalball UK events are cancelled until the end of June 2020. Individual participants will be contacted directly in due course. If you are unsure whether a Goalball UK event is going ahead please contact us at enquiries@goalballuk.com

Finally stay safe and look after yourselves.

With very best wishes

Mark Winder, on behalf of everyone at Goalball UK

END.

Tuesday 17 March 2:00pm

Advice for clubs

Based on government advice Goalball UK is advising clubs to stop all training sessions until 14th April. The activity is non-essential and will often take place in a public space. 

Goalball UK also recommends clubs updating their venue contacts and keeping a list of cancelled sessions with any potential losses.  

Updates regarding the national league will follow in due course.

If you have any concerns or require advice please contact Tom Dobson tom.dobson@goalballuk.com or 07526 169 288

Staying Active

Our partners at Sport England and Metro Blind Sport have provided some advice and tips on staying active while at home.

Sport England: https://www.sportengland.org/news/how-stay-active-while-youre-home

Metro Blind Sport: https://www.metroblindsport.org/audio-exercise-programs/

You can share your activity on social media using the hashtag #StayInWorkOut

END.

Friday 13 March 3:50pm

URGENT: National League Update  – A message from your CEO

Goalball UK has today taken the decision to postpone all of its National League events until Tuesday 14 April due to COVID-19, subject to medical advice and conditions at that time.

Mark Winder, Goalball UK’s CEO: “For a number of weeks now we have been working closely with parties involved with our tournaments and we have decided to postpone all of our events until 14 April.

“This is an unprecedented situation, but we have unanimously agreed that the health and welfare of the Goalball UK family is our top priority and this is the correct action to take at this time.

“We will continue to monitor this fast-moving situation closely and will provide further updates as soon as this is possible. We want to reassure everyone that we aim to reschedule these events when it is safe to do so.

“Finally, we want to thank everyone for their continued understanding and cooperation throughout this difficult period.”

Please direct any questions regarding the postponements to Tom Dobson, Goalball UK’s clubs and competitions officer: tom.dobson@goalballuk.com.

The latest information from the Government regarding coronavirus can be found here. We advise all goalball clubs to follow the Government’s guidance when deciding if they are to continue hosting their training sessions throughout this period.

The events affected include:

South and West Tournament, Saturday 21 March, Merchants Academy, Bristol

North Tournament, Saturday 28 March, English Institute of Sport, Sheffield

ENDS

Friday 13 March 11:00am

Dear Goalball Family

Goalball UK is in communication with the Government and other relevant organisations regarding the Coronavirus, and has been advised there is presently no reason people should stop doing their daily sport and physical activities as they normally would, which includes goalball.

The latest Government guidance and information regarding the coronavirus can be found via the following link

Preventing the spread of COVID-19

As with any other illness, all those involved in goalball in Britain are encouraged to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and avoid catching it by following Public Health England and NHS guidance.

Information on how to do this is provided on the NHS.UK website, with additional information available on the Public Health England blog.

For goalball clubs and leisure centres the Government has advised that hand hygiene should be strongly promoted and encouraged, and equipment and facilities should be thoroughly cleaned and wiped down as usual following use.

Materials including posters for Public Health England’s campaign to help stop the spread of viruses can be downloaded from their resources website.

Anyone who has been advised to self-isolate as a result of developing symptoms and/or recent international travel to destinations specified by the Government, should not take part in any goalball activities for the duration of the self-isolation period. For further information see the Gov.uk website and the NHS.UK website.

Best Wishes

Mark Winder

ENDS

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