Recently, we published our ‘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. 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.

Following the Welsh Government’s review of COVID-19 restrictions on Friday 10 July and our own consideration of these changes, we are pleased to announce that as of today (Thursday 16 July) we will move from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of our ‘Return to Play’ journey.

The move from Stage 1 to Stage 2 means a number of changes that involve an increased level of netball fitness activity for individuals and clubs. In Stage 2, groups of up to 15 (including coaches) can now participate in organised netball fitness activity. This activity must take place outdoors with all participants observing a 2-meter social distance.

The differences between Stage 1 and Stage 2 and further information on what kind of netball fitness activity is now permitted can be found via our Stage 2 guidance document.

Click here to download the Return to Play Stage 2 guidance document.

Speaking about the transition from Stage 1 to Stage 2, Sarah Jones, Welsh Netball CEO said: “This is fantastic news for netball in Wales as groups of up to 15 participants can now meet outdoors for organised netball fitness activity.

“After several months of living under the COVID-19 lockdown this is a very positive development, which will bring a big range of mental and physical health benefits to netballers across the country. As you will see in the guidance document, there are still a number of important restrictions in place as part of Stage 2 and it is so important that we continue to adhere to these rules as we look to return safely to netball.

Speaking about how Welsh Netball will continue to move along its ‘Return to Play’ journey, she added: “Government announcements play a big role in how we are able to progress on our ‘Return to Play’ journey. However, it is also vital that we consult with medical and scientific professionals in assessing how we can safely progress on the ‘Return to Play’ roadmap.

“We ask for patience and understanding that other sports will return to play faster than netball, as each sport has its own characteristics around physical contact and use of equipment. Welsh Netball will continue to do its due diligence and consult with the other National Governing Bodies for sports in Wales and the other Governing Bodies for netball in the UK. This will ensure a safe and consistent return to netball.

“We are grateful for the support we have had from our community throughout the pandemic and we hope that our members have an enjoyable and safe return to organised netball fitness.”

Enquiries about the move to Stage 2 of the ‘Return to Play’ roadmap can be sent to WelshNetball@welshnetball.com