Chasers club update on Coronavirus. 15th June 2020.
It’s great that finally some of the government restrictions on exercising and meeting people are starting to lift as the Coronavirus risk in England slowly improves. Your committee are following guidance from the government, our sporting governing bodies, local authorities and general safeguarding advice.
Although the government are allowing groups of up to 6 people from different households to meet and train together as long as they social distance, this obviously doesn’t lend its hand to our club sessions as we clearly have a lot more than that at all of our sessions. In particular we would face big logistical challenge avoiding meeting as a big group and dividing off into groups of six.
Additionally, although the advice is there, we don’t think it’s responsible to advocate this happening frequently and in multiple packs of 6. As one of the largest clubs in the UK we don’t believe it’s safe. We also recognize that in a busy London area, with multiple groups of 6 people running or cycling, trying to stay 2 meters apart from each other, while dodging other pedestrians, cyclists, cars, obstacles etc, it just wouldn’t be possible to maintain the 2-meter gap and even worse could quite possibly result in a bad accident.
In summary, we will do our best to update you on our position as a club and we will continue to review the situation regularly. For now, we don’t think it’s wise to push the boundaries and start club sessions before it is completely safe to do so and without clear guidance that we should resume club training sessions with larger groups than 6.
We know and understand that you may well be arranging to meet up yourselves (in line with the guidance), which is fine. We just can’t facilitate it as a club.
For the time being we don’t need to split this update by discipline as the same rule applies for running, cycling and open water swimming. However, future updates and when training does resume we may well need to be more specific across the disciplines and individual sessions.
I hope that the Facebook community, the virtual sessions, the Zoom meet ups etc are playing a small part in keeping you active and feeling part of this amazing club. We are going to put up some new training ideas for you to continue to help structure your training.
If any members have any ideas or thoughts, then please do get in touch with us at the committee.
England Athletic Guidelines: https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/news/guidance-update-step-2/
British Triathlon Guidelines: https://www.britishtriathlon.org/covid-19
Swim England is scheduled to release detailed guidance on the 15th of June, and the pool re-opening will hopefully re-start on the 4th of July. A sneak peak on how the re-opening will be: https://inews.co.uk/news/swimming-pools-reopen-july-coronavirus-covid-19-changing-rooms-children-2869852
The re-opening of many open water swimming centers is well underway and a lot of information can be found on our Facebook group. For those interested in the latest guidance, you can find more information here: https://www.sh2out.org/
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All, after the official government announcement yesterday and subsequent updated guidelines from England Athletics, all training sessions will be cancelled until the end of April.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will reinstate sessions as soon as we can. In the meantime, have a look at Naomi's #chasercommunity post for alternative options and ideas to help each other out over the next few weeks.
********IMPORTANT PLEASE READ***********
Following committee discussions on the current Covid-19 situation, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel all club sessions for this week effective immediately. We will be reviewing this position on a weekly basis.
These are strange and worrying times. We are keeping on top of the advice given officially but also keeping an eye on what other organisations, our own workplaces and the medical profession are doing. There is an argument for carrying on as normal. There is also a strong argument for not carrying on as normal, especially as we have seen that there has been massive escalation with resulting pressure on the health services in countries where "carry on as normal" was the advice a few weeks ago. Many organisations and individuals are already taking a cautious approach. We need to consider as individuals and as a community organisation which path is appropriate.
We have decided that for us, the risk is too high to carry on as normal. We just don’t know enough to say that it is safe. This may seem drastic, but the decision was driven by consideration not only for ourselves but for the more vulnerable members of the community and for our friends and members in the medical profession who are facing a very rough few months.
This may be an overreaction but it may not be (hopefully it is!) but with the level of unknowns at the minute, we feel that it’s better to be safe than sorry. We hope you understand.
As many of us are already working from home/self isolating etc, we will look at having some mitigation measures against going stir crazy –possibly a Chasers mutual aid group, group Zwift sessions or similar - keep an eye out here for more details.
If you have any questions, please contact a committee member.
Your Chasers committee have decided to take pro-active steps to ensure our members and families are aware of what to do regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Since the risk level in the UK has risen and given the news of the spread of the virus to Europe we felt it was important for the welfare of our members and families to be open and support each other. It is Important that our families and members take the spread of the virus seriously and we do all we can to prevent it spreading further and putting others at risk. Please check the following pages for the latest updates.
Current country status: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
Travel Advice: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus.
With regards to club activities, we see no reason to suspend any club sessions at the moment (11/03/20), but we strongly advise you all to follow general guidance and that you do not come to sessions if you have any flu or virus symptoms as detailed in the links above. Please also avoid personal contact (and please don’t be offended if others refuse contact) and sanitise your hands before and after where possible. Please also be aware and follow any guidance issued by any of the facilities we use.
If anyone has been to any of the areas that have been classified by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as an 'all but essential travel' destination, then please do not attend sessions until 2 weeks after returning to the UK and have no symptoms. Please do get in touch with the Club Welfare Officers (Cat Neave & Seb Jones details on our website https://www.claphamchasers.co.uk/Welfare) so we can talk any of this through with you and follow the advice given in the links above. Look after yourselves and each other.