13 Jun Tennis Ireland Phase 2 Update
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Return to Sport Expert Group met yesterday to consider a range of queries raised by National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGB’s) relating to Phase 2 of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business in the Republic of Ireland.
In advance, Tennis Ireland had made a number of proposals to the Expert Group on behalf of its stakeholders relating to doubles play, the use of indoor courts and the organisation of Children’s Tennis Camps.
The Expert group has responded to confirm that they are still of the opinion that Social Distancing during the flow of doubles play is problematic and are not in a position to allow partners from different households to play for the time being and that the use of Indoor Courts should also not be permitted in Phase 2. The effect of this is that the previously issued Guidelines relating to Phase 2 remain in place.
The HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre have also issued guidelines to NGB’s relating to the safe operation of activities for children and adolescents. These guidelines are being analysed by Tennis Ireland and will assist with the development of specific Tennis Camp Guidelines which will be issued by Tennis Ireland to Clubs and Parks Tennis in the coming days.
In response to the feedback from the Expert Group, Richard Fahey, Chief Executive of Tennis Ireland said, “We’d like to thank the Government’s Expert Group for considering our submission. We know that a number of our stakeholders will be disappointed with the outcome, particularly in relation to doubles play, but it is important that the Tennis community understands that we are still in the midst of a National Health Emergency and must adhere to the Expert Group recommendations. We are very grateful that Tennis was allowed to reopen, albeit on a restricted basis, in Phase 1 and I would like to thank our clubs, players and coaches for following the advice to date. The latest modelling information on Covid-19 shows the huge progress we have made together in Ireland. Complacency is always a threat and as a sport and as a community we need to stick to the public health advice, build on the progress made to date and avoid a second wave if at all possible. We are working diligently to develop our Phase 3 Guidelines and we hope that this phase will allow the aforementioned restrictions amongst others to be lifted”.