As we near the end of what has been a difficult year for our sport, we wanted to provide a brief update to all clubs and official delivery partners in England and Northern Ireland, on some of the areas where work is ongoing.
Despite the tier system in England, and the most recent lockdown measures due to be implemented in Northern Ireland from 26th December, this update aims to provide reassurance that we are working hard to see a level of normality return to gymnastics sessions when it is allowed to do so.
Although restrictions are currently different in each of the home nations, we understand that many of you are looking for an update on the areas below. If you live in Scotland or Wales, please contact Scottish Gymnastics and Welsh Gymnastics directly. We would advise that throughout this time, you continue to check your local guidance for the most up to date information and advice.
If you do have any questions, you can contact our Customer Support team by email on [email protected]. British Gymnastics opening hours during the festive period can be found here.
Coach contact for supporting gymnasts
We remain in ongoing consultation with government and medical experts on when and how we can return to having coaches support gymnasts. We are also looking at how this may vary across each of the Home Countries, including the tiered restrictions in England. We hope to have further news on this early in the New Year.
Alongside the awarding bodies and in line with Ofqual guidance, we are working on a return to coaching courses and assessments. We understand that these are vital for clubs.
Once coach contact has been approved, we will be utilising the technology available to adapt courses and assessments during this period of disruption, to allow them to restart safely.
We are still awaiting the results from the Covid-19 transmission on foam tests. This, coupled with the challenge of cleaning pits and the current Covid-19 situation, has led medical experts to advise us that pits should still not be used at this time.
As things currently stand, it is acceptable for pits to be covered with sufficient wipeable mats for some use, where gymnasts would avoid contact with the foam. Thorough cleaning protocols must be followed for all equipment being used and ensure appropriate skills are being performed for safe landing onto the matted area.
In order to help delivery providers and event organisers plan for the safe return of events, we are developing guidance and a comprehensive framework. This will comply with current government restrictions and guidance. We hope to release this early in 2021.
We’re continuing to look at how we can implement the above phased return to gymnastics in Northern Ireland (including contact activities) once restrictions have been lifted.
Team Sport Activities
We have submitted our Return to Contact protocols to the expert panel for Sport NI and the Department for Communities. These protocols follow the same framework and control measures as the Team Sport Framework implemented in England which gyms, once allowed, will need to follow to enable close-proximity activities and disciplines to resume.
Due to the timing of the submission and the increased restrictions in place, unfortunately it is not appropriate for contact between gymnasts to return at this moment.
We are monitoring the on-going Covid-19 situation in Northern Ireland and will look to resume areas of the sport in line with government regulations when it is safe and appropriate to do so.