Latest Update

04/08/2020

COVID-19 Update – Scottish Governing Bodies of Sport united in drive to reopen facilities

Following a formal communication sent to the First Minister on the morning of 30th July 2020 from 32 individual Scottish Governing Bodies of Sport (SGB), the SGB CEO Forum welcomes the recognition by the First Minister of the requirement to move forward the re-opening of sports facilities.

As a sector, we are disappointed that the indicative timescale for a return to sport is not sooner. We have submitted evidence in mitigation of any risk to public health and ask for clarification as to what more compelling information is required to ensure our sports can return to activity and competition within the indicative dates given.

However, we will continue to work with The Scottish Government and sportscotland to understand the level of evidence we need to provide so all requirements for indoor sport to safely return in late August can be met. As ever, we will react positively to any encouragement from The Scottish Government to review the dates.

We are especially concerned for those SGBs which only have the small 2020 summer window to restart their sport and competitions. Without access to facilities – both indoor and outdoor, wet and dry – our member Clubs cannot function and cannot contribute effectively to the recovery that the whole of Scotland so desperately wants and needs.

As we are all aware the reality is that ‘sport-in-Scotland’ is more than just ‘sport’. This has been clearly demonstrated through the national focus on maintaining daily physical activity throughout lockdown and effectively contributes to the social fabric of our local communities as a whole through (although not exclusively):

  • The health and wellbeing of the Scottish Nation;
  • Equality and inclusion;
  • Contributing to effective learners;
  • Mental health and wellbeing;
  • Tackling obesity;
  • Social inclusion; and
  • Women and Girls in Sport.

With confirmation that other public spaces and venues in Scotland are now reopening and in recognition of the immense challenges facing the restart of the Scottish sporting sector, the SGB CEO Forum wish to work quickly with Scottish Government, sportscotland and facility operators to establish a clear strategy to resume sport, for our members, clubs and communities.

Scottish Squash fully supports the collective drive of Scottish Governing Bodies to reopen as many sport facilities in Scotland as quickly and safely as possible.

Previous Updates

09/07/2020: COVID-19 Update – Latest Government Advice

Scottish Squash welcomes the Scottish Government update of 9th July on the move to Phase Three of the route map out of lockdown, however, the Scottish Squash COVID-19 Working Group wish to reiterate what this means for squash clubs, facilities and players across the country.

Whilst we appreciate that this continues to be a frustrating time for squash clubs, facilities and players across Scotland, the updated guidance confirmed that indoor gyms and sports facilities (which includes any squash club/facility) will not be able to re-open before Friday 31st July, 2020. An update will be provided on 30th July, however, any dates for their re-opening (with physical distancing & enhanced hygiene measures) remains unconfirmed.

This means that all squash clubs and facilities should remain closed until further notice – this includes anyone wishing to engage in solo practice or members of the same household playing on a squash court.

Working Group update – preparing for a return when safe to do so

The Scottish Squash COVID-19 Working Group are continuing to develop resources (to include items such as: step-by-step guidance for reopening, safety posters & a pro forma risk assessment template) for clubs and members. Any publication of such guidance and resources will require thorough consideration of the full details of any further announcements from The Scottish Government.

In line with Scottish Government advice, we are also working closely with sportscotland’s Institute of Sport to explore the possibility of an earlier return to work for any of Scotland’s professional squash players. Targeted communication with this particular group is ongoing.

Thank you for your continued support and patience, and please stay safe and well.

Mark Adderley

Chair

25/06/2020: COVID-19 Update - Latest Government Advice

25/06/2020

COVID-19 Update – Latest Government Advice

Scottish Squash welcomes the further announcement from the First Minister yesterday (24th June) that shows further progression through the route map and potential early steps to move in to Phase 3. We wanted to reiterate what this means for squash clubs, facilities and players across the country.

At the current moment the guidance remains the same and The Scottish Government are clear in that indoor sports facilities cannot re-open in Phase 1 or Phase 2. This means that all squash clubs and facilities should remain closed until further notice – this includes anyone wishing to engage in solo practice or members of the same household playing on a squash court.

From the information announced on Wednesday 24th June it appears there will be a further announcement in the next couple of weeks which should include a date of when indoor gyms can open, this announcement may give an indication of a date when we can begin a return to squash activity, however this date is unlikely to be before Thursday 23rd July.

We continue to work closely with The Scottish Government, sportscotland, other governing bodies and the WSF/PSA to progress plans for the return of squash when it is safe to do so. In line with Scottish Government advice, we are also working closely with sportscotland’s Institute of Sport to explore the return to work for any of Scotland’s professional squash players. Targeted communication with this particular group is ongoing.

Additional Support

We appreciate that this continues to be a frustrating and difficult time for us all, so we would like to remind clubs and members of the information and resources which may be of help at this time. Colleagues at sportscotland and Harper Macleod LLP have produced useful information and guidance for sports clubs in Scotland and seeks to address some of the common questions that clubs may have during this time. Please click HERE for details.

sportscotland have also produced a comprehensive and useful guidance document for owners and operators of sports clubs and facilities (please click HERE to access the document). It contains a plethora of considerations, and potential work/tasks, to bring a facility/club out of lockdown, especially if it has been completely dormant, with no routine maintenance. This guidance should always be followed according to the current stage/phase guidance from The Scottish Government route map, and adhering to any amendments or updates given to that guidance.

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.

Thank you for your continued support and patience, and please stay safe and well.

Mark Adderley

Chair

18/06/2020: COVID-19 Update – Latest Government Advice

Following the First Minister’s announcement earlier today (June 18th), and as Scotland begins to move to Phase 2 of the Scottish Government’s route map, we wanted to reiterate what this means for squash clubs, facilities and players across the country.

The Scottish Government guidelines are clear in that indoor sports facilities cannot re-open in Phase 1 or Phase 2. This means that all squash clubs and facilities should remain closed until further notice – this includes anyone wishing to engage in solo practice or members of the same household playing on a squash court.

Whilst the First Minister’s announcement to move to Phase 2 of the route map is a welcome step forward, allowing a further extension of exercise guidelines (albeit not yet being relevant to squash activity), Scottish Squash are keen to reiterate that public health and wellbeing remains the most pressing priority and that we all should continue to recognise our collective responsibility to do what we can to continue to suppress the spread of the virus.

Working Group update – Working through what a return may look like

We are continuing to work closely with The Scottish Government, sportscotland, other governing bodies and the WSF/PSA to progress plans for the return of squash when it is safe to do so and as part of future phases of the route map.

Currently, this work is exploring the possibility of a conditioned return to squash activity in Phase 3 of the route map. In line with any possible return during the recovery phase of the pandemic, we are developing resources (to include items such as: step-by-step guidance for reopening, safety posters & a pro forma risk assessment template) for clubs and members. Any publication of such guidance and resources will require thorough consideration of the full details of any further announcements from The Scottish Government.

In line with Scottish Government advice, we are also working closely with sportscotland’s Institute of Sport to explore the possibility of an earlier return to work for any of Scotland’s professional squash players. Targeted communication with this particular group is ongoing.

Additional Support

We appreciate that this continues to be a frustrating and difficult time for us all, so we would like to highlight information which may be of use for clubs and members. Colleagues at sportscotland and Harper Macleod LLP have produced useful information and guidance for sports clubs in Scotland and seeks to address some of the common questions that clubs may have during this time. Please click HERE for details.

sportscotland have also produced a comprehensive and useful guidance document for owners and operators of sports clubs and facilities (please click HERE to access the document). It contains a plethora of considerations, and potential work/tasks, to bring a facility/club out of lockdown, especially if it has been completely dormant, with no routine maintenance. This guidance should always be followed according to the current stage/phase guidance from The Scottish Government route map, and adhering to any amendments or updates given to that guidance.

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.

Mark Adderley

Chair

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:

  1. 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 - 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: COVID-19 Lockdown Information

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