Sports academies have received the offical clearance to open up from today, but strict protocols mean that is not feasible for all businesses.
Academies who choose to open up will have to adhere to strict hygiene rules, and need to operate under severely reduced numbers. Furthermore activities must be limited to one hour and pools are still unable to open.
But even with restrictions, the announcement academies can open brings a glimmer of hope for the future.
Notably participants wanting to return to their academy or gym must be aged 12-60, meaning primary school children will need to continue with their online training in the meantime.
Guidelines have been given out for each sport to follow to diminish the chance of a COVID-19 spread.
An average sized football team will need to be split into at least three groups, with regulations stating one staff member can only coach a maximum of four players.
Basketball coaches can mentor six players if the court is split in half with three players at either end.
Where possible each piece of training equipment should only be utilised by one person and where that’s not an option, equipment like balls and bats should be sanitised often.
At gyms and indoor training venues no showers or dressing rooms will be open and participants are urged not to gather after training is complete.
All academies must have contingency plans in place if a staff member or player is diagnosed with COVID-19.
While the current guidelines mean academies won’t be throwing the doors wide open to resume normal operations, head coaches and administrators can at least start planning ahead for activities that could take place this summer.