28/05/2020

COVID-19 Update – Scottish Squash Working Group

As previously outlined, a COVID-19 Working Group has been established to plan and prepare for the return of squash in Scotland when determined safe to do so by the Scottish Government. The priority of the Working Group is to enable the safe return of squash as soon as possible in a way that secures the health and wellbeing of all players, participants and public.

Scottish Government COVID-19 Routemap – Phase 1 & Phase 2

Whilst we recognise that it continues to be a frustrating time for clubs and players who are keen to return to playing squash, current Scottish Government guidelines are clear that indoor sports facilities cannot reopen in Phase 1 or Phase 2 (this includes squash clubs). We are all passionate about the sport and desperate to get back to playing, but we must all recognise that the return will take time and must be approached with both caution and care.

Working Group Update

The four sub-streams of the Working Group are meeting regularly to discuss and formulate plans specific to their area of focus. We are working closely with sportscotland, other governing bodies and the WSF/PSA to establish best practices and sensible measures that we can all take to ensure that clubs can open safely and that risks to players and staff are minimised. In preparation, we are developing resources (to include items such as: step-by-step guidance for reopening, safety posters & a pro forma risk assessment template) which will be shared appropriately in due course.

For now, there are issues clubs could begin to discuss and plan for, including:

  • Leadership and management

Establish how staff will safely return, once permitted, to work under Scottish Government guidelines and if there is a minimum number of staff required to open and run the club. Is there someone in your team that can take the lead regarding COVID-19 and what support can they be given? At what point is it financially viable for the club to open, remembering there is very likely to be reduced income from bookings and secondary spend.

  • Club access and environment

All clubs are unique so consider what changes will be required to minimise risk at your facility including safe entry and exit of the club, and also how you will stop or limit use of the communal spaces. It is likely that any café/bar, changing facilities and showers will be closed at first, so what implications will this have? For instance, it will be necessary to ensure the club has sufficient cleaning and hygiene products and a more frequent cleaning schedule.

  • Court bookings

Review the court booking system to ensure that you can trace, contact and record who has been into the club and when. Consider your booking policy, as advance bookings are the safest way to regulate the number of people attending the club. Review how long is required between court bookings to allow for cleaning all common surfaces. Review start times and consider staggered court start times.

> A free online booking system (via SportyHQ) is available to all Scottish Squash member clubs. If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity and would like support in setting this up for your club, please contact ross.cairns @scottishsquash.org to be added to the online support channel. Each club can nominate one adult (18+) representative to join the support channel.

  • Members/players

We all have a part to play in returning to squash safely. Members will need to adopt new habits such as bringing their own squash ball, taking spare towels and arriving to play ready in their kit, bringing their own water and even a small first aid kit, which might be unusual for them. How will you best communicate these changes with your members and keep them and your staff safe?

> A free online member communications system (via SportyHQ) is available to all Scottish Squash member clubs. If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity and would like support in setting this up for your club, please contact ross.cairns @scottishsquash.org to be added to the online support channel. Each club can nominate one adult (18+) representative to join the support channel.

Club Support Forum

Clubs are also reminded that there is a Club Support Forum now in operation, where key representatives from squash clubs across Scotland are coming together to share learning and best practice during the current pandemic. Each club can nominate one adult (18+) representative to join the forum. If you, or your club, are interested in joining the forum, please email ross.cairns @scottishsquash.org with the email address of the individual you would like to represent your club in the forum.

Closing

When the time comes, our return to squash must be consistent with Scottish Government guidance on health, physical distancing and hygiene – and we are working with sportscotland and Public Health Scotland to finalise all squash specific guidance as soon as possible. We will continue to keep everyone informed via regular updates.

Mark Adderley

Chair


19/05/2020

COVID-19 Update – Scottish Squash Working Group

We realise this is a difficult time for many, and are keen to bring squash back in a measured and safe way, and this update builds on what we have been doing to date to support the squash community in Scotland. It follows on from previous communications to our members, players, clubs and coaches, and builds on but does not replace our regular webinars, club forum and other support.

Scottish Squash’s Board of Directors have set up a Working Group to begin preparations to ensure that squash is ready to return at the appropriate time and in line with government and public health advice.

The Working Group is made up as follows:

Mark Adderley (President), Graeme Jones (Non Exec Director), Lisa Aitken (Non Exec Director), Garry McKay (Chief Operating Officer), Paul Bell (Director of Squash), Allan McKay (Head of Coaching & Competitions), David Fallon (Head of Development) and Kevin Ferguson (sportscotland).

The Working Group met on 19th May and have agreed to look at the work sub-streams outlined below, looking to seek the best advice and identify best practice to produce simple clear guidance to allow squash activity to resume safely. All of this will only be possible in line with government and public health advice.

Experts and experienced individuals from clubs and other relevant organisations are now invited to support the Working Group to consider:

  • General play/access to courts and facilities – to create guidance for clubs and facilities;

[Lead contact: garry.mckay@ scottishsquash.org]

  • Performance players – to create guidance to Scottish Squash performance squad athletes;

[Lead contact: lisa.aitken@ hotmail.co.uk]

  • Coaching – to create guidance to coaches; and

[Lead contact: allan.mckay@ scottishsquash.org]

  • Competitions – to create guidance for competition organisers

[Lead contact: allan.mckay@ scottishsquash.org]

The Working Group will aim to weave together the various work sub-streams to create a plan for the return of squash in Scotland when determined safe to do so by the Scottish Government.

Mark Adderley

Chair


08/05/2020

COVID-19 Update – Lockdown Extended – Scottish Squash Message

Following the latest message from the Scottish Government, announced yesterday (7th May 2020), to confirm that the current lockdown has been extended for another three weeks, we wanted to let you know that we are closely monitoring the messages from the Scottish Government and are in regular communication with sportscotland, who are themselves in regular and direct dialogue with the Scottish Government about COVID-19 related matters.

Like all of you, our primary focus remains on ensuring the health and safety of all our staff, members, coaches, athletes and volunteers, and we can only encourage you to continue to adhere to government advice and to continue to look out for one another.

We are as keen as anyone to see the return of squash, and we have started discussions about how this might be possible, but we must stress that this will only be possible when the government and the NHS advice considers it safe to do so. We will keep you all updated when more information is available.

Take care. Scottish Squash


22/03/2020 12:30

Following the Government’s guidance that ‘all indoor leisure and sports facilities, including gyms’ should be closed from ‘the end of trading hours today (Friday 20 March) to limit (the) spread of coronavirus’, Scottish Squash are advising that all squash clubs and facilities should respond accordingly and close until further notice.

The full guidance can be viewed by following the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-further-measures-on-social-distancing

Scottish Squash are working closely with our lead investor, sportscotland, and other partners to look at how we can support clubs, coaches and players during this exceptionally difficult time. Clubs and facilities are also encouraged to continue to refer and follow the Government guidance for employees, employers and businesses, which can be viewed via the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19