The British Sailing Team has welcomed the guidance issued by the Government on the phased return to training for elite sports.
Relaxation of the strict UK lockdown has allowed general sailing to make a slightly stuttering restart, with some sailing clubs opening their doors this weekend.
In addition the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has set out how elite athletes in England will be able to return to training in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
This comprises of a comprehensive set of four documents – Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on the phased return of sport and recreation – and provides guidance for the public, providers of outdoor sport facilities, elite athletes, personal trainers and coaches on the phased return of sport and recreation.
The fourth document . . . Elite sport return to training guidance: Step One is the document for an elite athlete to find out what you should do to return to training safely e.g. member of the British Sailing Team.
Step One of return to training can be described as a return to a level of organised individual programme training in a defined performance facility while adhering to the government social distancing advice.
You will of course still be constrained by the latest Government coronavirus guidelines which restrict sailing to solo recreational sailing, or with members of your household.
Otherwise you must keep to the 2 metre distancing rules.
The move to Step Two will be characterised by the allowance of a level of ‘social clustering’ within the training environment.
This is where small groups of athletes and staff will be able to interact in much closer contact e.g. close quarters coaching.
The additional guidance necessary for operating under step two will be finalised and communicated once when the government has agreed to move to this step, following advice from Public Health England (PHE) and medical experts that it is safe to do so.
Information on the British Sailing Team’s plans for returning to action will be issued in due course.
Note that for the purposes of the guide the definition of an ‘elite athlete’ means a person who is:
- an individual who derives a living from competing in a sport
- a senior representative nominated by a relevant sporting body (e.g. The RYA).
- a member of the senior training squad (e.g. The British Sailing Team) for a relevant sporting body, or
- aged 16 or above and on an elite development pathway.