To: All Players, Club Secretaries, President, Vice Presidents and EC
I trust you are all well and keeping safe during these unprecedented times.
It appears from all official data sources, that the vaccination programme is well on target and infection rates, nationally, are reducing and exceeding Government forecasts. Although Luton remains in the top ten in England for infection rates, it is heading in the right direction but not reducing as rapidly as other towns and cities.
The Government's Roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions every 5 weeks is currently on schedule, with the next easing due on 17th May with indoor (adult) sport allowed, subject to social distancing guidelines and, if all goes to plan, all social distancing contact restrictions removed on 21st June 2021. As always, these are planned stages and all subject to Government review.
We held a virtual EC Meeting last night to discuss the LDTTL plans for going forward for the 2021 season. Unfortunately, but not unexpected, many of the venues we use to play Table Tennis are still not available - no doubt, some waiting for the cessation of all social distancing restrictions. The EC also discussed the TTE guidelines on returning to local league resumption and the numerous recommendations and guidelines on playing areas and social distancing outlined therein.
Under normal circumstances, the LDTTL playing season would be nearing a close and we would be looking at completing the Cup Competitions and holding an 'end of season' closed tournament. Obviously, 2020/2021 season did not take place and there is no time to register, formulate divisions and set-up even a shortened playing season for 2021 as we draw near to the summer break. Many players and teams will be looking forward to well-earned holidays after severe lockdown restrictions that, hopefully, will end in June. At this stage no-one knows what life will be like after 21st June - the situation is still very fluid.
Therefore, the EC took the following decisions:
1) No start to LDTTL Season this side of summer but subject to Government advice, plan to start new 2021/22 season at end of September/ beginning of October 2021, as normal arrangements. We would plan to issue Registration Forms in July/August 2021.
2) No Closed tournament at this stage - we may hold a closed tournament prior to the start of new season in September 2021 to get players back into competitive play before start of match play. No entry fees. Venue and Dates to be discussed at next EC meeting.
3) EC will meet again first week in July to review the planned easing of restrictions on 21st June and to gauge their impact. We will also hope to move forward on planning for next season and a closed tournament (subject to venue availability).
I am know that the decisions above will come as a huge disappointment to many but the EC has to take into account the Government guidelines and when venues may open up again - perhaps without any restrictions - above all, the safety of our players and their supporters is paramount.
It might be a good idea to contact your playing venues and see if you can practice safely or when they will be open for matches ready for next season - we will ask you for details before the next EC meeting.
I will keep you posted as soon as possible after the EC meet in July - keep an eye out for any updates.
In the meantime, do keep your families and yourselves safe and, as always, if you have any queries or concerns then please feel free to contact any EC member or myself.
Chairman and Vice President LDTTL