Today we are pleased to officially launch our return to play guidance. This allows the goalball community to get back on court safely while considering the implications of the new environment we are living in.
The document, which can be downloaded here and is hosted on our Return to Play page, includes all the essential information that each club must follow before returning to training to reduce the risk before, during, and after playing goalball. The return to play section of our website will also be updated regularly with all the latest information about the sport in regards to the pandemic.
Our guidance has been approved by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and follows the Government’s ‘return to recreational team sport framework’. This guidance meets all of the current requirements; however, it is important to note that as this ever-changing situation evolves, so will our guidance. Clubs must look out for the latest version each time before playing goalball.
We appreciate that there is a lot of information to consider and work to be done by clubs. To support clubs, players, officials and volunteers as much as possible, we will be hosting a webinar to discuss the guidance and answer any questions. This will take place on Wednesday 26th August at 6pm and those interested need to click here to register before 4pm that day.
Furthermore, we will also be supporting clubs in their efforts to get back up and running with a grant of up to £100. This is to be put towards purchasing essential personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitation products to maximise the safety of participants. To apply for this, please visit the Goalball UK COVID-19 club registration page, here.
Currently, this guidance only allows for club training to resume. Before reintroducing Goalball UK competitions, we will monitor the success of returning to play, as well as the latest measures from the Government.
Mark Winder, CEO of Goalball UK: “Firstly, we all want to thank everyone for their patience. This is a fantastic first step for our sport on our journey to getting back to playing at full capacity. For us to continue making great progress, it is so important that everyone follows the new guidance and does everything they can to keep as safe as possible when playing goalball.
“We also want to thank everyone that took the time to complete our return to play survey. This information was incredibly valuable for developing these preparations. As 86% of respondents said that they can’t wait to get back on court or are happy play again as long as appropriate measures are implemented, we believe that our guidelines echo the views of the goalball family.
“Furthermore, with 74% indicating that hygiene and cleaning protocols would give more confidence about playing again, the £100 grant initiative was developed. As an organisation, it is fundamentally important that we do everything we can to support clubs to give players that peace of mind at this time.
“The team at Goalball UK is ready to answer any questions to make the transition as smooth as possible. I would like to thank the team, especially Alex Bunney and Steve Cox, for their hard work in pulling this together. We hope that everyone that wants to play again has a fantastic time!”
Please email email@example.com with any questions or feedback relating to the return to play guidance.