Over the weekend the UK Government announced a lockdown in England from Thursday 5th November to Wednesday 2nd December. The government has advised people to work at home where possible, avoid social contact and non-essential travel.
Yesterday, we, along with other NGB’s were briefed by Sport England and UK Sport. The key messages that we received were;
- All indoor facilities, including gymnastics clubs, should prepare to close as of Thursday 5th November
- With regards to elite training, we are still able to continue under the current elite training guidelines
The Government will meet on Wednesday to vote on the formal bill to pass these lockdown restrictions, which we have been told will have no exemptions for any sport or participant groups.
In some previous Government announcements on lockdown and restrictions, last minute changes have been made to the guidelines and caused confusion for some. As a result, we will wait to give the instruction advising our clubs to close until after the bill passes in Parliament on Wednesday.
This news is incredibly disappointing. We know the gymnastics community has done everything to make the sport safe. And while we know the health benefits that our sport brings, the number of cases of Covid-19 continue to rise across the country. The increased pressure on the NHS means we must do our bit to keep everyone safe.
We are acutely aware of the immense financial pressure many clubs will be under as a direct result of a further period of closure. Please be assured we are fighting your corner. We will continue to lobby Government for further financial support for sports clubs and partners so severely affected by the pandemic, through a Sports Recovery Fund, and we will be continuing our support of the #SaveOurSports campaign.
As with the first lockdown, we’ll support clubs in accessing financial support, grants and the furlough scheme.
We have pulled together and come through lockdown once before. We urge everyone to keep in touch and to help one another stay positive during this difficult time.
Please remember that British Gymnastics Membership includes access to fully comprehensive insurance for British Gymnastics endorsed activity and virtual activities based around fitness, conditioning and flexibility.
*Elite Training Guidance update
In light of the recent changes to restrictions, we have reviewed and updated our Elite Training Guidance and now have the following criteria for Olympic and Non-Olympic disciplines; please note these are subject to change in the future if guidance changes:
An elite athlete for the continued Return to Training for Olympic disciplines is defined as:
1. A senior squad gymnast for WAG/TOP squad senior gymnast for MAG & TRA working towards Tokyo Olympic qualification and selection in 2021.
2. A junior squad gymnast in MAG/WAG/TRA who has been selected for or identified/confirmed by the National Coach as working towards major international selection (European or World Championships) within the 1st half of 2021.
An elite athlete for the continued Return to Training for Non-Olympic disciplines is defined as:
1. A senior gymnast who is selected or identified/confirmed by the National Coach as working towards a major international (European or World Championships) within the 1st half of 2021.
2. A junior gymnast who is selected or identified/confirmed by the National Coach as working towards a major international (European or World Championships) within the 1st half of 2021.