Sport Update following Tier 4 Announcement

Dear Members and Volunteers,

On behalf of the Trustees, I regret that I must inform you that now that Berkshire has been placed in Tier 4 we must stop all sport within the clubhouse and elsewhere with immediate effect. This is devastating news for the Club and I am truly sorry that this has happened – one more blow after so many.

Since the announcement yesterday I have spent the time carefully examining the Sport England guidance and I have been forced to conclude that there is absolutely no choice in the matter: there can be no indoor sport and there is no exemption for sport arranged for disabled people.

Although various groups (Activity Alliance etc) are campaigning for exemptions for disability sports, until we fully understand the implications of this new strain of Coronavirus, the Trustees would find it difficult to support restarting any activities. We would have to be completely sure that our precautions were effective and robust as we would not be prepared to take any chances with your health.

This really is a bitter blow and I know each successive lockdown (and that is what Tier 4 effectively is) causes greater distress and suffering and has a mounting impact on everyone’s health and wellbeing, especially with the new rules about Christmas celebrations.

I will be talking to the SportsAble staff team tomorrow to start sharing ideas and making some plans for what we can do to support and entertain our members, but I would also urge you all to think of someone within your activity who may appreciate a call or WhatsApp and give them that call, maybe even arrange to meet in a park at a safe distance. It is at times like this that the club connections can be so important to many people. I know several of our sports and activity groups have been doing this already and I think it is even more vital to continue it now. You really are a great bunch, so supportive of each other, I know we can get through this, hard though it is.

If anyone wants to set up a club-wide entertainment slot (quiz, sing-along whatever) even just a one off, I have a Zoom subscription and the ability to publicise it, so please contact me if you have any ideas.

We have already asked Anisha to continue her “Move to Music” sessions on Tuesday evenings in the New Year, which is worth joining just for the entertainment, and I am sure we will come up with more online content over the next few days and get in touch with you all before the start of the New Year. That said, I know Zoom isn’t for everyone but it is better than nothing.

It is likely that we will close the clubhouse until such time as we can resume activities partly as this saves us money, but we will be monitoring the phones and email from home, and collecting any post so you can always get in touch.

I do hope that despite all the difficulties you may be dealing with that you can still find something to celebrate at Christmas, and that we can all look forward to better and safer times in the New Year.

Rest assured that the Trustees are fully committed to continuing with their work to raise funds and have the clubhouse ready for reopening, and we all look forward to welcoming you back before too long.