Returning to Play

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on what we, as individuals do, as well as the sport and physical activity sector as a whole. As the strategic lead for sport and physical activity across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, we are here to provide you with the relevant support, information and guidance as lockdown restrictions evolve. This page has been designed to provide you with the most up-to-date and trusted information with regards to reopening facilities and making the transition from lockdown to returning to sport and physical activity.

To support sport and physical activity clubs and organisations through the COVID-19 crisis and address concerns facing the sector, Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire has delivered a series of webinars including 'How to keep your members through the current crisis' and 'How have attitudes and behaviours changed as a result of COVID-19'. Bitesize recordings of these webinars can be found on our YouTube channel.

New restrictions and guidance released on 24th September means that every part of England is now in one of three Covid-19 alert levels: Tier 1 (medium), Tier 2 (high) and Tier 3 (very high). Both Herefordshire and Worcestershire are currently classified within Tier 1 (medium).

New Guidance: Tiered Covid-19 alert levels

New restrictions and guidance released on 24th September means that every part of England is now in one of three Covid-19 alert levels: Tier 1 (medium), Tier 2 (high) and Tier 3 (very high). Both Herefordshire and Worcestershire are currently classified within Tier 1 (medium). A summary of what this mean for sport and physical activity can be found within the Sport England Return to Play Protocols.

Responsible Reopening

What guidance, information and advice is available for sports clubs and community organisations?

Team sports can restart when each sport's national governing body has published a government-approved action plan and related guidance on playing safely. If your club is affiliated to an NGB, we would suggest in the first instance to check their website for any sport-specific guidance/resources. A list of recognised sports & links to their national governing body's website can be found on the Sport England website. Club Matters have released a bank of resources to support clubs and organisations through this time. Below we have collated a range of useful documents and resources to support you through the reopening process.

1. Government Guidance - Government guidance for people who work in grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities.

2. Sport England Return to Play Protocols - Indoor facilities will need to prepare for reopening. Hence, as the sport and physical activity sector gets ready for the continuing 'return to play', Sport England has collated advice, guidance and resources to support you.

3. Reopening toolkit for clubs & organisations (Club Matters) - Designed to offer prompts and tips on what your club and organisation could think about when planning to return to activity.

4. ReOpen (CIMSPA) - Guidance for planning for the safe reopening of sport and physical activity sector facilities. The ReOpen guidance should be used in conjunction with the UK Active recommended framework.

5. Socially-distanced Sports Toolkit - As a result of the challenges faced by the community sport sector, a pilot was designed to support a safe return to grassroots participation. The new toolkit summarises the learnings from the pilot and outlines suggestions for organisations.

Should I update the risk assessment?

All affiliated sports clubs and organisations have a legal duty to take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which are a reasonably foreseeable risk. Risk assessments should cover all risks, including those associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and how the club intends to ensure that its members and activities will operate within the Government guidance. Below are some useful resources to help you revisit and update your risk assessment:

1. Creating a Risk Register for Clubs and Organisations - designed to help clubs/organisations introduce or update their practices regarding how they track risks.

2. Creating a Risk Assessment - common things to think about when creating a risk assessment and considerations for Covid 19.

3. Promoting Social Distancing - how to introduce social distancing in a club or group environment

4. Legal Risks and Duties of Care - designed to provide guidance on some of the legal issues arising, or that may arise, from the 'return to play and activity' in light of coronavirus (Covid-19)

How can I ensure a safe and clean environment?

How we can stop the spread of coronavirus and keep our environment safe for everyone:

1. Sport England Guidance - including 'how to keep a clean and healthy environment' and downloadable resources for promoting hygiene messages.

2. Hygiene Signage Pack - A signage pack to help you maintain a safe environment and promote hygiene messages.

How can I better understand and support people through the pandemic?

UK Coaching have released a number of helpful resources for returning to coaching.

1. ReActivate - A new, free, online training platform, designed to equip anyone working in the sport and physical activity sector with the knowledge and skills they need to confidently return to work or restart their coaching activity.

2. Understanding your People - Recognising the needs and views of the people at your club or organisation during the Coronavirus pandemic.

3. Supporting Volunteers - Understand how clubs and organisations can ensure a safe and supportive environment to encourage volunteers to re-engage and feel able to give their time safely.

4. An Inclusive Response - Practical tips how clubs and organisations can enable welcoming, and more accessible environments as people return to activity.

5. Health Conditions & Physical Activity: the impact of Covid-19 - An insight pack to outline learning since the onset of the pandemic and beginning of lockdown.

7. Autumn & Winter Activity Toolkit - To help you inspire and motivate the people in your communities to continue to be physically active, Sport England has produced an Autumn and Winter Activity Toolkit that's packed with resources and information.

How can we safeguard our members and participants through the pandemic?

Safeguarding and protecting children and vulnerable adults are as important now as they ever have been. We need to think carefully about how we keep people safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Ann Craft Trust - A Guide to Safeguarding Adults during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
2. CPSU - Safeguarding children through Coronavirus
3. NSPCC - Online safeguarding guidance including safety principles & good practice for live streaming sessions
4. UK Coaching - Online delivery of UK Coaching's 'Safeguarding and Protecting Children' course

What funding is available to support our club through this period?

1. Return to Play - Active Together - A £2.5 million fund, with up to £10,000 in match funding, as part of a support package to help clubs and organisations set up and run crowdfunding campaigns related to Covid-19, such as for a loss of income due to the pandemic.

2. Return to Play - Small Grants - This £10 million fund focuses on awards of up to £10,000 that support clubs and community groups respond to the challenges of returning to play during the coronavirus pandemic.

3. Return to Play - Community Asset Fund - Capital awards of between £10,001 and £50,000 will help clubs and community groups adapt and open important places and spaces, so that sport and physical activity can happen during the pandemic.