Covid-19 - Update

Posted by Colin Yeoman on 23 March 2020

Dear members/guardians

Many of you are desperate to play tennis again.

Unfortunately we are not able to open the courts at the moment.
This is extremely disappointing not only for club members but
also for the coaches who are still unable to work.

What has the committee done this week?

1.      The LTA published three guidance papers on Tuesday to
facilitate the restricted re-opening of clubs.  The committee has
considered these and prepared two risk assessments (one for
players, one for coaching) specific to the risk of covid-19
transmission.
2.      A set of temporary covid-19 rules has been prepared for
members to follow.
3.      The courts have been prepared for re-opening with touch points
minimised - no net winders, gates removed from the courts,
benches taken Into the clubhouse (which will remain locked).
4.      Arrangements have been put in place to facilitate social
distancing by designating separate entrance/exit gates marked
with signs.
5.      Rules and guidance sheets have been prepared and laminated for
display outside the clubhouse and on the exterior fencing by the
entrance.

Why aren’t we re-opening the club?

The problem is that the Parish Council will not give their
agreement.  The issues in dispute are:-

1.      The Parish Council is requiring the club to complete a daily
risk assessment and coaching log.  This is onerous (not required
in the LTA’s guidance) and whilst the club has agreed to do this
in the short term we have requested a review on 1st June.  It is
not a requirement that we believe should be imposed long term and
so have requested a regular review.  A response is awaited from
the Parish Council.

2.      Hand sanitiser.  The Parish Council has required that hand
sanitiser is provided by the club.  The supply of hand gel by the
club will be problematic due to the likelihood of theft (as the
club's gate is left unlocked).  If we leave the sanitiser outside
the clubhouse (which is to remain locked) there is a risk that
players will arrive and not find any sanitiser to use.  Taking
into account that risk the club’s covid-19 rules have been
drafted to require players to bring their own.  We have asked the
Parish Council to be flexible on this issue and allow members to
bring their own sanitiser.

3.      No members over the age of 70 can play.  With regard to the
over 70’s, there is nothing in the government guidance that
precludes daily exercise, whether that be a walk, run or playing
tennis.  The guidance simply says that “particular care” should
be taken to minimise contact with others.   The safety and
distancing measures put in place at the club will clearly satisfy
the requirement for “particular care” so there is no reason at
all why over 70’s should not play tennis.  Such a blanket ban
would be discriminatory.   The committee does not agree that the
club should remain closed to players over the age of 70.  A
response from the Parish Council is awaited.

4.      No family members/friends allowed at the club to watch tennis.
There is no issue with this other than when there is coaching
taking place for players under the age of 16.  In order to comply
with safeguarding principles a parent or guardian should be
allowed to be present.  We have raised this with the Parish
Council and await their reply.

The committee’s position is that we have done everything
necessary to comply with the government and LTA guidance and that
the additional conditions imposed by the Parish Council are
unnecessary and, in relation to the over 70’s, discriminatory.

What next?

The committee is trying to reach agreement with the Parish
Council on points 1-4 above.  Once there is any change to the
current situation we will of course let you know.

 

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