Covid-19 - Return to Play Plan: Update.

A message from Ely Vikings Club Chairman, Philip Morton.

At the EKA EGM last Thursday, the motion to change the status of the organisation was passed and the budget for the year was also passed. We also discussed the Return to Play plan. This sets out some adjustments to the sport in order to reduce risk to participants.

These adjustments have been developed by a group of members from a range of clubs and trialled in Australia, Netherlands and Croatia where there are different restrictions in place which allow team sports indoors. These trials were successful in that they demonstrated that the modifications were successful in addressing risks and also that the result was recognisably Korfball. The plan has now been agreed by the Department of Media, Culture and Sport and is now waiting for final sign off which we hope to receive soon. However hot on the heels of this news was the decision to limit indoor team games to a maximum of six participants. This means that when our plan has final approval we would be limited by this 'rule of six' for indoor play. Sport England and many other indoor team sports are looking at the implications of this new restriction.

We do however have some options. Once the plan has been signed off, we could play outdoors without the limit of six. We will shortly be contacting everyone to ask about willingness to play on a range of surfaces and preferences for days and times in order to see what you would like to do and to inform our search for  a suitable outdoor venue. It is also the case that the 'rule of six' only applies to those over 18 years of age so again once the plan has been agreed we could resume sessions indoors for those under 18. However, we need to be aware of the risks involved of having students from a range of schools mixing in this way and we would need to have enough coaches who were prepared to take the sessions. Currently the only venue where this could be done would be the Paradise Centre on Sundays between 5 and 6 pm. For us to progress this option, we would need some idea of the numbers who would be prepared to take part.

The budget for the EKA effectively covers the insurance for the sport and the cost of salaries for the staff. At the meeting we agreed to pay our affiliation fee to EKA and to take advantage of any discounts available for early payment. In paying this fee we are securing insurance cover for whatever korfball activities we are able to undertake and indicating our support for the sport. While it is not yet clear what we will be able to do or when, I would ask those of you who are able to, to also indicate your support for the sport and your club by renewing your membership of Ely Vikings.