Pandemic update June 2020

Newton Abbot Table Tennis Club – Covid-19 Lockdown

Firstly I apologise for the lack of contact with you all, but there is little to say and unfortunately I’m not going to cheer anybody up with this note either!

I hope you are all well and coping well with the pandemic.  As sanctions are gradually lifted I thought I should set out where our club is going and ask you for help, inspiration and comment on the way forward.

So a return is in no way imminent, in fact although unknown, it is probably still months away. 

Once the government and Table Tennis England have given us the go ahead to return, first and foremost, we need Teign School to let us back in.

We look forward to this moment but it will not be a simple return to where we were.  The return to play of any kind will be a staged process and the proposed guidance from Table Tennis England will make a return incredibly difficult for a large club like ours with over 120 members.

The guidance will only allow 3 tables in the main hall where we are used to having 15, it might be possible to have 2 tables in the match room (but it doesn’t quite meet their requirements!) and we do not have enough barriers at present to set out the 5 courts to TTE guidance.

I have attached a couple of relevant documents from Table Tennis England that give more detail of the guidance.

The guidance suggests that just the 2 players per table and one organiser may be present in the hall at any one time, meaning the most folk present at one time if we hire the hall & AMS is 12.  In theory that should mean 30 players will be able to play on a Friday night for one hour each, which, off season, is close to the numbers we get on a Friday night.

So any return to play is going to have to be well structured and organised which in my view is everything our club is not about!  The relaxed come along and play anytime with who you like, for as long as you like, goes out of the window.  It will have to be booked one hour sessions with an opponent and the cost will probably have to be raised to meet costs.

Other restrictions include, no cash, no club equipment, can only pick up your own ball, wipe down tables between sessions and so on.

So the restart will not be easy and will require significant organisation.  I accept that this will not suit everybody and I’m afraid we will probably lose some of you, which is regrettable, but for everybody’s safety and wellbeing we need to follow this guidance.  

With a bit of luck and everyone buying in to the process the above restrictions will ease as time goes on and become more manageable for everyone.

So armed with the above details I would welcome comments, help and advice from anyone.

Despite the challenges that we will face in returning to play a sport we all enjoy it’s great that we can now at least see a chink of light at the end of the tunnel 

Look after yourselves and keep safe

All the best

Author: via Newton Abbot Table Tennis Club
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