On 9 July, the Government announced that some recreational team sports can begin to return and indoor leisure facilities can re-open their doors from 25 July. Read the full Government guidance here.
This guidance issued will allow us to see the gradual return of team sports, including netball. However, the speed at which some sports return will vary, for instance cricket will be one of the first sports back since it lends itself to being played whilst socially distanced and is a summer sport, so is well placed to return early.
What does this announcement mean for netball?
This is an exciting step for our sport and could mean that netball returns sooner than we had anticipated. Whilst we’re delighted by this news, there is still work to be done to be able to get us back onto court and to be able to play netball in its fullest form.
England Netball first step, is to submit to Government a risk assessment, medical evidence and a comprehensive action plan for approval, which must demonstrate how they can safely return to some form of the game.
England has already made a start on the above documentation and evidence. Once the go ahead is by the government , EN will then look to secure and confirm an activation timeline to sit alongside our Roadmap.
[b]What is next?
Until the guidance and next phase of netball’s return has been signed off by the Government, netball must remain at stage two of the Roadmap, meaning the guidance issued here should continue to be adhered to until further notice. This guidance states that currently no more than six people from different households can meet outdoors and enjoy netball fitness activity together, whilst remaining 2m apart at all times and keeping equipment sharing to a minimum.
Preparing for the new season we as a league will have work to do over the next few weeks/months to ensure we can deliver netball safely once the action plan has been approved by Government. This will include speaking to venues, developing a risk assessment prior to activity and planning altered versions of their usual netball sessions where required. There will be a new voluntary role added to the committee for the new season - COVID-19 Officers to ensure for a smooth return.
Committee meeting and AGM meeting will be arrange in the due course.