Training sessions for the student athletes within our sports clubs are likely to be drastically changed this year as new club Covid-19 officers work to make practices safe.
Track and trace will need to be used at every practice to ensure that, if there is any outbreak of the coronavirus within any sports club, it’s spread can be limited and people can be kept safe. The instructions do state, however, that personal data obtained for track and trace must then be deleted after 21 days.
Jack Loizel, Men’s basketball captain and Covid Officer, said: “What we have to do is accept the university guidelines.
“People register beforehand so that we have their name and number and can contact them if the club has any concern.”
Loizel also believes that the atmosphere at training may take a hit, as the team camaraderie that is so deep-rooted in the sport cannot take place. He said: “When coaches and players aren’t playing, they will need to socially distance and of course we can’t have players doing handshakes or high-fiving, which are really important to basketball teams.”
Some clubs will need to downsize their training groups as well, such as the triathlon team, who usually train together in large numbers.
The club’s Covid Officer, William Thornton, told Forge Press: “We do normally have three training sessions a week and we usually get the [Goodwin] pool for 40 people, but now it’ll be 30.”
Furthermore, the team will need more leaders to step forward and lead training sessions as the team splits into smaller groups. For running and cycling sessions, the club will need a team-leader for each group of six athletes.
Some Covid Officers are concerned that, as in everyday life, the rules they set out will not be followed by everyone as they should.
Loizel said: “It is hard to say what training will be like at this point. Making sure that everyone follows the guidelines may be difficult.” These concerns may well be justified after the government recently imposed stricter restrictions, with the ‘rule of six’ applying to adult indoor team sports in England.
All sports clubs still have high hopes for what they can achieve this year, as and when sport is back in full swing. The Triathlon club are keen to return to their normal training regime when it’s safe to do so, while Jack and the rest of the Basketball club are looking to introduce a third BUCS team for future competitions.