Basketball Ireland and other National Governing Bodies of sport are to meet the Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers, on April 9th. High on the agenda will be a discussion about the timetable for when indoor sport, in particular, will be allowed to resume training and activity.

“Basketball and indoor sports, in general, seem to be a Government afterthought, when it comes to issuing guidelines, despite having ample time to factor us in,” said Basketball Ireland CEO Bernard O’Byrne.

“We now have to wait another 10 days before hopefully, we get some clarity at next week’s meeting with Minister Chambers.”

“We need a roadmap so our international teams, clubs and players can start looking to the future. At the moment there isn’t any indication as to when our elite squads and adult players can resume training. We are obviously keen to see our Irish international squads being allowed to collectively train, in order to give them the best chance of success at the European Championships, should they go ahead, having not been able to play competitively domestically this season.”

Yesterday we made the point that Lockdown restrictions around the world have been less onerous than we have endured. If schools are allowed back in indoor settings of 30 plus individuals for periods of six hours in a day, what then is the logic behind preventing 15 come together for less than one hour in a hall larger than any classroom, with supervisors fully committed to implementing whatever protocols are deemed necessary?

Indoor sporting activity is in a similar position to pubs and restaurants, shops and cinemas in terms of pleading its case, but if the general feeling is that sport is OK now because at least it has something, then that will be a great disservice to the tens and hundreds of thousands who play sports maybe better suited to our temperate climate.

The changes revealed last night about shops that provide children’s shoe fitting services arose from the position being highlighted and action taken.

Nobody is under any illusion about the complexity of the challenge facing the Government, or indeed the present danger that exists in the continued transmission of the pandemic.

What the sporting bodies will look to get though is a sense of some dates, tied into the vaccine roll out on when a return might be possible.


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