Return to squash & racketball update
We are just as frustrated as you that clubs and players cannot yet return to playing squash and racketball. Current Government guidelines clearly state that indoor sports clubs cannot reopen, and this includes squash clubs. What we can do though is prepare ourselves for when clubs do reopen.
Over recent weeks, England Squash have been working closely with Sport England, the PSA and other squash nations to establish best practices and measures that we can all take to ensure that clubs can open safely and that risks to players and staff are minimised.
The issues clubs should discuss and plan for include :
- Leadership and management
Establish whether staff can safely return to work under Government guidelines and if there is a minimum number of staff required to open and run the club. Is there someone in your team that can take the lead regarding COVID-19 and what support can they be given? At what point is it financially viable for the club to open, remembering there is very likely to be reduced income from bookings and secondary spend?
- Club access and environment
All clubs are unique so consider what changes are required to minimise risk at your facility including safe entry and exit of the club, and also how you could stop or limit use of the communal spaces. It is likely that any café/bar, changing facilities and showers will be closed at first, so what implications will this have? For instance, it will be necessary to ensure the club has sufficient cleaning and hygiene products and a more frequent cleaning schedule.
- Court bookings
Review the court booking system to ensure that you can trace, contact and record who has been into the club and when. Consider your booking policy, as advance bookings are the safest way to regulate the number of people attending the club. Review how long is required between court bookings to allow for cleaning all common surfaces.
We all have a part to play in returning to squash safely. Members will need to adopt new habits such as taking spare towels and arriving to play ready in their kit, bringing their own water and even a small first aid kit, which might be unusual for them. How will you best communicate these changes with your members and keep them and your staff safe?
In the meantime why not try running a virtual club…..