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04 Jun 2020 1,703

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: We’re here for the coach

A statement regarding the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

As you will see from the Government’s recent announcement, groups of up to six people from different households can now meet outside in England.

These meetings can take place in public spaces like parks, and in private (household) gardens.  

The updated guidance from Sport England says that coaching activity can be extended from a one-to-one basis to a small group of five, ie one coach and five participants, provided people from different households observe social distancing (stay two metres apart).

Coaches in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales should refer to specific advice from their devolved governments or their respective Home Country Sports Councils.

Coaches involved with elite sport should consult the ‘Elite sport return to training guidance: Stage One and Stage Two’.

We suggest that coaches in England who may wish to extend their coaching activity in this way, fully read, understand and adhere to the latest Government advice and follow the key points below:

  • The coaching activity takes place in a wide-open space, outdoors or in a private garden.
  • The coaching activity is between one coach and up to five participants.
  • The coach and their participants remain two metres (six feet) away from each other (and others in the vicinity) at all times.
    • You are at higher risk of being directly exposed to respiratory droplets released by someone talking or coughing when you are within two metres of someone and have face-to-face contact with them. You can lower the risk of infection if you stay side-to-side rather than facing people. 
  • There is no physical contact between the coach and their participants, eg handshakes, ‘high-fives’, etc.
  • Good hand hygiene is observed, ie hands are washed before and after the coaching activity; and hand sanitiser gel is used at intervals during the coaching activity.
  • The coach should ensure that participants avoid sharing the same equipment. Additionally, kit and equipment should be washed and sanitised regularly.
  • Coaches and participants should avoid touching their faces.
  • Coaches, who have participants under the age of 18 or who are deemed to be a vulnerable adult, should seek consent from a parent/guardian or other responsible adult, as well as arrange appropriate drop-off and pick-up strategies, and ensure their participants have clearly defined equipment and kit to avoid contamination with others. 
  • Coaches whose participants have been shielding should read the latest updated guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.

If a coach or their participants show symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), eg a new continuous cough; a high temperature; loss of taste and or smell, they and their household should isolate at home and cancel any scheduled coaching activity.

UK Coaching’s CEO Mark Gannon, said:

Throughout this crisis, we have been extremely proud of what our great coaches are doing to support their community. We have seen innovation, resilience and flexibility and it’s really welcome that the Government is recognising the huge importance of high quality sport and physical activity more than ever before.

“We know how vital great coaching is, which is why it is such great news that some coaches in England will be able to start to return to work in a careful and phased way.

“Of course, we urge all coaches in England to continue to follow official guidance on this and always check with your relevant governing body of sport if you’re unsure. To help, we will continue to provide coaches with resources to help them decide the safest and most responsible way to get back to doing what they love.”

Head to our coaching community ConnectedCoaches to contribute to a thread on how coaching whilst maintaining social distancing will work for you. Additionally, if you register at ukcoaching.org you can download two new infographics containing questions to help you plan for your return to coaching.

Further information to support coaches at this time will be released shortly.