Pupils are allowed to meet on the weekend with their friends and play competitive matches against children from other bubbles and other schools, so why are we hesitating to restart clubs in schools? We have been fortunate enough to have worked with a number of schools in helping them implement after school clubs into their school days and want to help you to know how to do this in a safe and controlled way.
1. Follow The National Governing Body (NGB) Advice
Every sport has it's own NGB which has outlined steps in allowing sport to resume in a safe way. The FA have published guidance in football and England Netball have for Netball for example. This is easily accessible from the NGB website and when we ensure that the suggested steps are implemented effectively, we shouldn't hesitate to allow children to play competitive sport.
2. Bubble Up Where Feasible
Each and every school will have different bubbles but, for example, by opening a "Multi-Sports Club for the Year 3 Bubble" you will help to settle parents nerves in sending their children to an extra-curricular club. That being said, bubbles might not always be big enough to run a viable club and so you may need to open up to different bubbles.
Where bubbles are mixed it is important to remember that this is what is happening on the weekends at the local football league so it is okay! Your coach or teacher should be ensuring social distancing is maintained throughout the session but they can play on the same pitch providing you follow the NGB guidance.
3. Ask Children To Get Changed Before The Session
We recommend that pupils get changed in their classroom before the end of the day to limit the amount of time spent inside. Ideally, children would then meet the coach outside and go straight into a socially distanced arrival activity.
If this can't happen due to time constraints, we would suggest finding a large indoor area such as the hall and putting bench dividers out for each bubble to get changed on. Once everyone is changed, you can go outside to the session. By giving each bubble a bench it helps them to distance easily.
4. Keep It Clean
Hygiene is everything nowadays and that remains consistent through any sports session. Here are some of the steps we are taking to allow children to stay safe during extra curricular clubs.
Hand washing before, during and after the session
Spraying equipment down before and after the session
Encouraging coughs and sneezes into elbows
Asking children to clean hands if they do cough or sneeze into their hands
Spraying indoor equipment down before and after use
Not using bibs
We do all of this to keep everyone safe. All of our coaches have taken part in out 'Coaching During COVID' Workshop before beginning any sessions in schools this September. This set out clearly what is expected of each of our coaches and makes sure that our sessions are run as safely as possible.
5. Parent Pick Up Communication
For all our schools, a big concern has been how we allow parents to pick up whilst keeping to the schools policies and procedures. A really useful tool for this is using an online booking system so that you can easily send parents a message about pick ups and update them of any changes that the school may need to make as restrictions change
What Are My Next Steps To Reintroduce Extra-Curricular Clubs?
Everyone we speak to wants to help children find that bit of normality and for thousands of children that normality can be found in their favourite after school sports club.
We know how important sport and physical activity is in children's wellbeing and we must take responsibility in providing as many opportunities as possible for young people whilst we learn to live with COVID.
Your next step is simple. If you are interested in starting extra-curricular clubs in your school with a company that will help you organise and deliver safe sessions, just get in touch!
Visit our website to find out more information and fill out our enquiry form to get in touch. You will also be able to find out about our other school coaching provisions and we can't wait to help to get more children back into sports clubs.
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