Return to Play - Update 1

Posted by Sheila Stansfield on 28 August 2020

Dear Member, Parent, Carer, Supporter and Friend

Following the Club Update and the Call to Action Junior Update emails sent on 13th August we trust that this email will assist in both updating you on the status of Corsham HC’s Return to Play and help with diary planning over the next few weeks.  This is, by necessity, a long email – please read all the way to the end!

Our Return to Play is reliant on two fundamental things:

1. Full Compliance with England Hockey’s “Hockey Deliverer Participation Agreement”

Put frankly, failure to comply with the above may result in Corsham HC being referred to EH for a Disrepute Complaint Offence!  There are a number of measures which need to be in place  for us to be fully Covid Compliant and the bottom line is: “each club or organisation must only return to sport when they are ready and have the appropriate measures in place to be compliant with both the guidance developed by England Hockey and the Government guidance.

Listed below are some of the things we, as a Club, need to have in place to be compliant (this is not exhaustive):

  • Nominated club Covid Officer registered with England Hockey (Sheila Stansfield has been appointed)
  • All Club participants to sign a ‘Participation Agreement’ with England Hockey
  • Detailed Risk Assessments for Step 4 Return to Play completed and shared with Springfield
  • System in place to capture Attendance Information (for all training sessions & matches) and supply to EH within 24 hours of each session taking place (this is for Track and Trace)
  • Booking system to be used for training (via ClubBuzz)
  • Full communication to ensure all participants are fully aware of their personal responsibilities for reducing the risks of Covid and reporting procedures if they have symptoms

Our Step 4 Risk Assessment is nearly complete (thank you to Debbie Barefoot for the huge amount of work that has gone into this already).  The RA has identified many things to ensure compliance including amongst others:

  • Safe and separate entry and exit points to the astroturf
  • One way system around the training area
  • Signage
  • Kit locations points (for individual / bubbles) – suitably distanced
  • Hand hygiene points
  • Guidelines regarding use and storage of shared Club kit eg face masks, balls, bibs, GK kit etc

The plan is to stress test all of our compliance measures with smaller groups initially (please see below for more details).   This will ensure that we have robust processes in place, with member wellbeing and safety as our priority.

 

2. Springfield re-opening and pitch availability

We are in close contact with management at the Springfield Centre but the re-opening of the pitch remains out of our control and we do not yet have a confirmed date for re-opening (we are optimistic that it will be very soon).   Currently, Springfield is open for reduced hours (closing at 8.00pm) and the centre is working with reduced staffing levels.  As a result, we may have to be flexible about when training takes place over the coming weeks (see below).

 

Diary Dates for Returning to Play:

League matches

Senior league matches for both sections start on 24th October (subject to EH moving to Step 5 and local Covid conditions).  If played in full, the season will run through to the end of April.

Senior Training

Assuming Springfield re-opens we are planning the following:

w/c 7th September: stress test training with small selected group of committee members, coaches and players

w/c 14th September: stress test to continue with expanded 1st team squad training (18 players per squad) for both Men and Ladies

w/c 21st September: as above

w/c 28th September: full training for all players

This plan will still give a full 4 weeks of training before the first league game for all players.  We have prioritised the 1st teams as both teams have been promoted this season.  By working with defined squads we can ensure that our compliance systems are fully stress tested before opening up to the whole senior section.

We cannot confirm actual training session times and days until we know more from Springfield.  We have booked the pitch for the following times:

  • Tuesdays: 7.30pm onwards
  • Wednesdays: 6.00pm onwards
  • Thursdays: 6.00pm – 7.30pm
  • Saturdays/Sundays: all day

Potentially we will all need to be flexible on when training takes place for different sections/squads.  We know this is not ideal for planning around other commitments at this stage but this is the new normal we have to work with for now.

 

Junior Training

The current plan is to resume Junior Training following the half term break at the end of October.  This is fully dependant on a new Junior Chair being voted in at the AGM on 30th September and a Junior Committee being in place, including Coaches for each age group. As Sheila is working on the Covid Officer and Return to Play as a priority, we really need someone to take on the Junior Chair role asap as she cannot do both!

 

Club AGM

The Club AGM will be on Wednesday 30th September and there will be a full communication regarding this coming very soon. We have a number of positions that need to be filled in order for Corsham HC to continue to run as successfully as it has to date. The Club really needs new ideas and fresh energy so, if you have a few hours to spare please contact info.corshamhockey@gmail.com

 

And finally…

Thank you for reading this far!  Please look out for further emails coming your way which will give you details of the things you will need you to do as a player going forward (eg EH Participation Registration, ClubBuzz registration, payment of Membership fees etc).  We will continue to use the ClubBuzz email system for all our Return to Play communication as it ensures we reach all members and also gives us a paper trail.  We will use WhatsApp to politely remind people to read the emails that have been sent out.  Please ensure that ClubBuzz emails do not go into your spam.  We will also start putting copies of emails on our website for reference.

Finally, we know some of you may be frustrated that you can’t just walk on the pitch and hit a hockey ball, especially as some other local Clubs are back already.  But hopefully this email gives you more background understanding of the processes involved for Corsham HC and the considerable amount of work required to make our Return to Play safe and Covid compliant.   We would ask you to be patient and please bear with us and we look forward to seeing you back on a pitch in a safe environment very soon.

Stay safe and best wishes

Tim Waldron – Acting Club Chair

Debbie Barefoot – Club Secretary

Sheila Stansfield – Club Covid Officer

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