Roadmap Guidance Published on Getting Kids Back to Sport

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has issued a set of specific guidelines for the return to sport of children and adolescents.

It will be up to each individual sport to factor this guidance into their own plans for a return to training and games.

The guidance covers going to and coming from an event, the need for stringent record keeping to assist contact tracing, the recommendation for coaches, mentors and parents to wear face masks and the presence of a designated Covid-19 compliance officer.

Parents are encouraged to bring only their own children to training sessions and special measures are highlighted to avoid children congregating, to practice distancing measures while training and to self assess and not go if feeling unwell or running a temperature.

The GAA is running an online session tomorrow evening at 6 pm where coaches, club officials and parents will be given more information about its central guidance ahead of a scheduled return to activity on June 29th, two weeks from today.

Contact Tracing

There are detailed recommendations around the use of an ‘electronic log’ with all details of each participant in a session including details of who brought them.

This is to be updated in real time for each session and must be easily accessible in the instance of a reported case.

Clubforce, which provides electronic membership services to a wide variety of clubs across the country, said on Friday that it has begun development of a new functionality for a five step process that will cover the requirements.

Surpassport is a Naas based Irish company that already has the technology in place and is providing it free to clubs.

The service is fully compliant with all GDPR requirements and we will be speaking to company founder, and hurling coach Adrian Geissel later this week as the preparations for a return to play gear up across the country.

Surpassport is already being used by Basketball Ireland to manage the load on underage international teams, and has been able to pivot towards offering a fully compliant Covid-19 tracking solution.

The company held a fully subscribed online session for clubs yesterday morning.

Publication

Areas of communication, venue management and cleaning of equipment is also included in the document that was published by the HSPC on Friday and can be downloaded for review right here.

The publication was welcomed by Ministers with Shane Ross saying “The return of children and teenagers to sport is a major step on our journey back. The population at large has been greatly missing its sport, but it’s fair to say that children and adolescents have probably missed it most, whether on the TV or more importantly out on the field.”

“Training with friends and teammates is hugely important to young people and provides memories and connections that shape their later lives. The experience of the last few weeks has been difficult but I hope that the progress we are making gives young people, and their parents, a real sense that we are coming out of the COVID-19 crisis and that better days are certainly ahead.”

“The guidance published by the HPSC is a very significant development for sports clubs throughout the country,” added Minister of State Brendan Griffin.

“Since the middle of March, there has been an eerie silence about so many sports grounds and while people must still continue to respect all social distancing and other public health requirements, it is clear now that sport is on the way back.”

“I would ask people to be patient with the sporting bodies in terms of resuming activities. It will inevitably take a little time to get things organised at club level. Ensuring safety is an absolute priority and I know that our sporting organisations and volunteers will take all necessary steps as outlined in the guidance.”

Look back on our Interview with Cuala GAA Chair Damian McKeown on the complexity of getting back to training and activity.

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