COVID-19 and Return to Play

COVID-19 & Return to Play

Here you will find information, guidance and documents relating to COVID-19 and Welsh Netball’s ‘Return to Play’ roadmap. 

Welsh Netball has published its ‘Return to Play’ roadmap, which provides Welsh Netball members with an overview of what the return to netball could look like as COVID-19 restrictions begin to be eased.

As of Thursday 13 August, netball in Wales will be at Stage 3 of the roadmap.

The roadmap allows for the safe return of netball activity based on progressive stages of increased activity depending on the extent of government restrictions and Welsh Netball’s understanding of the medical, scientific and risk factors involved in netball activity.

Please see below for Welsh Netball’s current advice regarding the ‘Return to Play’ roadmap. Scroll down for further information regarding the status of social distancing for Under 11s.

We are currently at Stage 3 of Welsh Netball’s ‘Return to Play’ roadmap. Stage 3 of the roadmap sees training return, with the following conditions:

  • Outdoors training only, with 2 meter social distancing
  • No sharing of equipment
  • Groups of up to 30 participants including coaches
  • No matchplay or small sided games
  • Risk Assessment to be undertaken prior to organised netball taking place
  • Clubs and leagues are strongly recommended to begin the #NetsGetReady checklist, which will be mandatory in Stage 4.

A return to training will be a welcome development for clubs, netballers and coaches across the country. However, there will be a number of areas for consideration in how clubs organise training sessions under Stage 3 of the ‘Return to Play’ roadmap. These considerations will help minimise risk and keep all participants, as well as the wider community, safe.

The first thing to consider will be where you train. The points below should be considered in advance of organising a return to group training:

– You should not seek to train indoors at all. This is in line with our ‘Return to Play’ roadmap and is in line with Welsh Government regulations.
– Outdoor spaces are not always public, so you should ensure that you are permitted to train there. Many leisure centres and schools are closed and their outdoor facilities are not open at the moment.
– Please ensure that you are complying with the rules and regulations of any outdoor facility you may use.
– You should conduct a risk assessment of the venue where you train, especially if it is one that you are new to or unfamiliar with.

Another area for consideration is the type of netball activity you wish to host and take part in. Things to consider in advance include:

– All netball fitness activities should be safe to participate in with a 2-meter distance between participants. The 2-meter distance does not apply to those from the same household.
– Training sessions can consist of a group of up to 15 people, including the coach.
– No equipment sharing should take place.
– Clubs are encouraged to continue hosting online training sessions, which can be a useful supplement to the small group physical training sessions that are now permitted.

Finally, clubs need to consider the health, safety and welfare of members ahead of a return to organised training:

– Communication is key. Coaches should check-in with players ahead of the return to organised training. Some people may be anxious about going out in public and meeting up in groups again. Participants may also have underlying health conditions, which mean that they are not ready to return to group training.
– Communication is also important with parents of junior netballers. Children will not have participated in organised sporting activity for some months and they will need help understanding the new rules and what they can and cannot do.
– Participants must be made aware that they are not to attend any training if they are unwell. If they are showing any of the three main symptoms of COVID19 (a high temperature, persistent dry cough, or loss of sense of smell) then they should self-isolate and make arrangements to access a COVID-19 test.
– Contact information may have changed since you last met as a group so please ensure that the information that you hold is up to date.
– All safeguarding processes and policies remain in place and coaches must hold an up to date DBS check.
– As ever, groups should have a nominated First Aider. First Aiders should seek to familiarise themselves with the latest practice for administering First Aid in the current context.
– You should keep records of who has attended training sessions. This will help NHS Track and Trace in the event a participant tests positive for COVID-19.

We will be carefully monitoring these changes as they are implemented and will be considering future government announcements for how we can further progress along the ‘Return to Play’ journey. As ever, the health and safety of the netball community is our number one concern.

If you have any questions regarding the Return to Play roadmap, then please get in contact with Welsh Netball via e-mail: WelshNetball@welshnetball.com

Please click below for download links to a range of Welsh Netball resources relating to COVID-19 and ‘Return to Play’. Scroll further down for information and a link to the Welsh Sports Association’s COVID-19 Online Awareness Course

Welsh Sports Association Online COVID-19 Awareness Course

Welsh Netball members can access the WSA’s Online COVID-19 Awareness Course for a reduced rate of £4. Information about the course and a link to book on to it can be found below. Please note, this course is voluntary and is in addition to Welsh Netball’s club criteria as part of our ‘Return to Play’ roadmap.

Course Brief:
The web-based course aims to give confidence on Covid-19 matters and provides transitional information to support the return to sport and recreation.
The course will take no longer than 1.5 hours to complete, learning resources will be provided and a personalised certificate will be issued upon completion of a multiple-choice competency assessment.

Who’s the training for?
This training is recommended for club/league personnel who are in a position of responsibility within the organisation. This might include but not be limited to: Coaches, Officials, Team Managers, Committee Members and other Volunteers.

Please note: Nominated netball club and league ‘COVID-19 Co-ordinators’ will be required to undertake separate mandatory ‘COVID-19 Co-ordinator Training’ provided by Welsh Netball. This will enable their club/league to organise netball related activities relevant to Stage 3 and beyond of the ‘Return to Play’ roadmap. This training will be made available in August for COVID-19 Co-ordinator.

Course Overview:
The course consists of three core modules:
1.1 General Awareness
1.2 Participant Engagement
1.3 Cleaning and Disinfection

And three optional bolt-on modules:
2. Clubs
3. Coaches
4. Premises and Activity Areas

Content has been written in accordance with published Welsh Government, Health and Safety Executive (HSE), World Health Organization (WHO) and National Health Services guidance.

Price:
£2 + VAT (Welsh Netball Members)
£4 + VAT (Non-Welsh Netball Members)

Booking link:
Click here to book

#NetsGetReady is Welsh Nebtall’s five-stage process, designed to help ensure a safe return to netball training and activity in line with the ‘Return to Play’ roadmap.

All netball clubs and leagues in Wales will be required to complete the following #NetsGetReady checklist in order to safely return to play in line with Welsh Netball’s ‘Return to Play’ roadmap. We strongly recommend that clubs and leagues undertake the steps below as soon as possible, to help ensure the health and safety of all participants.

Please note: #NetsGetReady will be compulsory for clubs and leagues at Stage 4 of the ‘Return to Play’ roadmap.

The 5 elements of #NetsGetReady are:

1. Appoint a COVID-19 Co-ordinator
2. Complete Welsh Netball’s COVID-19 Co-ordinator Training (online webinar)
3. Undertake a robust COVID-19 Risk Assessment
4. Complete the #NetsGetReady online registration form
5. Re-affiliate your club and members to Welsh Netball for 2020/21 season

1. COVID-19 Co-ordinator

Welsh Netball require each club to nominate an individual to become the ‘Covid-19 Co-ordinator’ for your Club. Details of the individual will need to be shared with Welsh Netball through the #NetsGetReady registration form (see point 4 below).

To assist clubs in appointing the right and most appropriately skilled person for the role, please click here for a role description.

2. COVID-19 Co-ordinator Training

All club and league COVID-19 Co-ordinators will be required to attend Welsh Netball’s bespoke training for this role, which will be provided free of charge and accessible via an online webinar.

The COVID-19 Co-ordinator will be required to undertake the training prior to their club/league engaging in organised netball related activities relevant to Stage 4 and beyond of the ‘Return to Play’ roadmap.

It will be the responsibility of the COVID-19 Co-ordinator to disseminate appropriate information throughout the organisation to the relevant groups of people.

There are two training dates for COVID-19 Co-ordinators: 12 August and 19 August, 6pm-7,30pm via Zoom. Please click here to book onto a session via OurWelshNetball.

Please note that COVID-19 Co-ordinator Training is different from the WSA’s online COVID-19 Awareness Training Course. For further information regarding this training and for booking details please click here.

3. COVID-19 Risk Assessment

The current COVID-19 outbreak poses a serious risk to individuals. As we progress from a state of lockdown into a stage of adapted activity, we require all clubs and leagues to carry out regular risk assessments.

Our Risk Assessment Template is designed to support clubs to protect themselves, keep their participants safe and manage the risk of COVID-19 spread and infection. Advice and guidance from Welsh Government and Welsh Netball is constantly being reviewed and updated – risk assessments will need to be constantly monitored and updated in line with the latest information.

Our risk assessment template and guidance can be accessed here.

4. #NetsGetReady registration

All netball clubs and leagues will be required to complete our online #NetsGetReady registration form to ensure Welsh Netball has up to date details for its affiliated organisations.

A club/league officer must complete this registration form before any netball activity sessions can take place from Stage 4 onwards.

Please click here to complete the #NetsGetReady registration form

5. Welsh Netball Membership 2020/21

Ensure your club and its members renew their membership of Welsh Netball.

As all netball clubs are responsible for ensuring their members can return safely it is important that relevant insurance is in place. Our comprehensive programme of insurance can provide protection for members. As a minimum your Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, Safeguarding Officer, Data Protection Lead, Coaches, Officials and COVID-19 Co-ordinator should become members as well as all your players.

The 2020/21 membership season is now open for affiliation with a special early bird discount of 10% off all membership categories during the month of August. To renew your membership please visit: www.ourwelshnetball.co.uk.

Netball Activity Session Guidelines

Once your club/league has completed all 5 #NetsGetReady requirements set out above then you are ready to start organised netball activities. To support the safe running of your sessions we have developed a set of COVID-19 Netball Activity Session Guidelines. This includes the requirement for all attendees to undertake a ‘COVID Self Declaration’ prior to each session.

Please click the links below for information and forms relating to claiming COVID-19 refunds from Welsh Netball…

2020/21 Membership is now open for those seeking to re-affiliate to, or join Welsh Netball for the coming year. There is a 10% discount on all membership categories during the month of August.

You can learn all about Welsh Netball’s membership benefits, how to join and costs here

Welsh Netball membership will help ensure that you and your club are able to be supported as we return to netball following the COVID-19 lockdown. Affiliated clubs will receive bespoke support to allow a safe and compliant return to training and netball activity. Individuals will also be able to benefit via a 50% discount on the WSA’s Online COVID-19 Awareness Course, available via the Resources & Training tab above.

Sport Wales have recently launched their Be Active Wales fund, which is now open for applications. Netball clubs in Wales are now able to make applications to the fund to help them ‘protect’ themselves and ‘prepare’ for a return to play, in line with Welsh Netball’s ‘Return to Play’ roadmap.

To find out more about the Be Active Wales fund, click here to be taken to the Sport Wales website.

We have also compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions relating to the Be Active Wales fund.

– Can you apply to Be Active Wales if you were turned down for Sport Wales’ Emergency Relief Fund?

Yes, if the application meets the criteria for ‘protect.’

– Would the ‘protect’ element of the fund include the purchase of netball equipment?

The protect element is in place to support sports clubs with fixed essential costs that have been committed to e.g. utility bills. Equipment costs should be applied for under the ‘prepare’ segment of the fund.

– Are they two separate application forms for ‘protect’ and ‘prepare’?

It’s the same form but dependent on the timelines related to return to netball activity, you should apply for protect and then prepare separately.

– If a COVID-19 business support grant has been received by the club, are we still eligible to apply for Be Active Wales?

Those who have accessed other support i.e. Business rates relief will not be able to apply for ‘protect’ support but will be able to apply for ‘prepare’ support.

– If we have immediate costs and also costs associated with setting things up for the future, which fund do we apply for?

If you require immediate support with fixed essential costs e.g. utility bills you should apply for ‘protect’ now, applications for ‘prepare’ should only be considered when they involve activity directly related to Welsh Netball’s ‘Return to Play’ roadmap.

– Would aspects of a club facility be covered such as building work, should money now not be available due to lack of funding and the inability to raise sponsor etc?

The Be Active Wales Fund will only support clubs with fixed essential costs and preparing to ;Return to Play’ under Welsh Netball’s guidelines. Facility developments that are aspirational and not related to the guidelines produced on ‘Return to Play’ will not be considered by Sport Wales.

– Can clubs apply more than once for the fund? I.e. apply for protect funding in July and then go in again for prepare once guidelines allow a return to netball in the future?

Yes