The Association has now distributed the Sport Ireland Covid-19 grants to our clubs.
The Sport Ireland grant of €33,000 was distributed as follows:
An online meeting organised by the Federation of Irish Sport was held with Minister of State for Sport, Jack Chambers, on July 15th.
The Minister provided his overview of where we are now and that the Covid Delta variant presented a sombre picture which led to the pause in July in planned easing of restrictions. He said that the situation will be reviewed again in August.
He noted the funding impact on indoor sports and that a package is to be agreed for the sector in collaboration with Michael McGrath (Dept Public Expenditure). Mary O’Connor (Federation of Irish Sport CEO) expressed the frustration felt by indoor sports and that financial & communication supports are urgently needed.
The Minister was specifically asked what his plans were for allowing the Digital Covid Certificate to facilitate resumption of more ‘normal’ activity for vaccinated people in indoor sports. This option has yet to be considered.
The Minister suggested that National Governing Bodies (NGBs) submit protocols for consideration in August as to how we can reopen safely.
NGBs requested that the Sport Ireland should be taking the lead on how we can progress reopening the indoor sport sector, rather than always leaving it to the NGBs to produce yet another protocol.
The indoor sport sector was not given any firm assurance about how or when we can reopen further. A hope that pods of 6 for training might be approved in August was as concrete a suggestion that the Minister put forward.
So for now, no change to the current restrictions.
The Federation of Irish Sport are hosting a further meeting with indoor sport NGBs to discuss ways in which we can make progress in our reopening plans. The RAI will be represented.
The planned easing of government restrictions on indoor activities from July 5th is postponed.
Therefore there is no change to the current restrictions for racquetball: solo play only is permitted and two members from the same household may train together.
It is now hoped that from the 19th July there will be an easing of restrictions.
In the meantime please continue to observe all Covid restrictions both on and off court.
The Government announced that from June 7th, sports centres and gyms may re-open. This includes racquetball courts.
Only solo racquetball training is permitted or two players from the same household may train together.
For juniors (Under 18), 2 players are allowed per court for coaching only, no mixing with juniors on another court during the same coaching session.
Courts should remain vacant for 15 minutes in between bookings.
Always keep windows & doors open where possible to promote good ventilation.
Players & coach should arrive ready to go on court as changing rooms and showers will remain closed.
To reduce the risk of Covid, please observe standard precautions at all times (hand hygiene, social distancing, no sharing of equipment, clean down court touch points when finished training, vacate club after training in order to avoid congregating in the indoor setting).
Every individual should take responsibility for their own health & safety in observing the COVID guidelines.
From 5 July (Subject to Public Health)
Indoor sports training, exercise and dance activities can recommence in pods of up to 6.
Sport Ireland have updated their Covid-19 Online e-learning Course which now includes certification and Covid Officer Training.
Section A of the Course builds on the previous Awareness course and has been updated with the current government advice and guidelines in relation to covid19.
Section A of the Course
This is targeted at supporting administrators, volunteers, coaches and players & participants.
Section B of the Course
Aims to support those who have been nominated to fulfil the Covid Officer Role in their NGB, LSP, Club or Community Group.
This section will include specific modules in relation to that role – Responsibilities, Management Plans, Venue Layouts, Dealing with a Breakout, Emergency First aid etc.
Participants can choose to complete Section A only or both sections A & B.
Nominated Covid Officers are recommended to complete both sections.
Both sections will include a test/quiz and a Certificate of Completion. The cert can be saved or printed out afterwards.
Clubs should ensure every player/member/parent/volunteer should have this certificate before returning to play.
You can log on to the course HERE
The course is free and takes less than 30 minutes
Racquetball Ireland has now published its Protocols & Procedures for Return to Play for both Clubs & Players/Members along side our Return to Play Roadmap.
Carefully read the Protocols for Return to Play Clubs to ensure your club is prepared to restart.
Racquetball Ireland advises every club to appoint a Covid Officer who will be responsible for managing issues and queries relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and prepare/implement a club response plan. Sport Ireland will offer an online training course in the next two weeks for Covid Officers.
A Club risk assessment should be completed before return to play
Carefully read the Protocols for Return to Play Players/Members to ensure you are informed and prepared to follow the required guidelines.
Complete a Personal Assessment Declaration.
All information can be found: Here
Always remain mindful of your own health and that of your fellow players and ensure guidance with the National Government and HSE guidelines. We are in this together and are equally responsible for ensuring that we protect the health of ourselves and that of others and for ensuring that best practices are followed and implemented.
Due to the evolving nature of Covid-19 & changing Governmental Guidelines, documents are subject to change. Please check our website and social media platforms for updates regularly.
As we look closer at the return to sport, we highly recommended that ALL involved complete Sport Ireland’s online COVID-19 Awareness e-Learning Course available on their website.
It is essential that ALL Clubs, Committees, Groups, Coaches, Parents, Volunteers & Participants inform themselves and prepare for the return to play in a safe way that can help minimize the spread of COVID-19.
It is a free course and takes only 30 minutes.
The course is available at: https://www.sportireland.ie/covid19/course
This Sport Ireland COVID-19 Return to Sport e-learning resource is intended to supplement Government advice through the Roadmap for the Reopening of Society and Business with specific reference to sport and physical activity. At all times, the health of those participating in and facilitating sport and physical activity is priority. Whilst risk in relation to the spread of COVID-19 cannot be eliminated, it can be minimised.
Share now with your club and club members.
The Racquetball Association is currently finalising a protocol document on the return to play.
As at the current date, no indoor sport has received permission to return to play yet. At present, return to sport protocols for all indoor sports in Ireland are being examined by Sport Ireland and work is underway to produce recommendations for same.
Due to the confined space in which racquetball is played and the difficulty in ensuring social distancing in competitive play, it is viewed as a higher-risk sport for the contraction of Covid -19. Also, protocols need to take in to account of the age profile of a large percentage of players.
The Association hopes racquetball will return in the shortest timeframe possible but also by the safest means possible.
Further updates will be made in the coming weeks.
The Racquetball Association of Ireland announce the cancellation of the All Ireland Singles & Doubles Championships on the 18th & 19th April and the Fermoy Open due to be held on 16th & 17th May.
The Association also advises clubs to cancel all activities until further notice.
It is hoped the All Ireland Singles & Doubles Championships can be run in the Autumn when the new season begins. The Association will monitor the situation as regards Covid-19 over the coming months and may be able to re-shedule cancelled events in the Autumn.
In the meantime, we urge everyone to follow HSE guidelines and stay safe.
Corona Virus (Covid-19) Update
The Racquetball Association of Ireland in view of government advice have decided that the following tournaments will be cancelled:
The All Ireland Singles & Doubles on the 18th & 19th April will be reviewed as the situation develops.
Please follow updates on the HSE website on Covid-19