Over the last couple of weeks, both London Sport and Sport England have released new sports
strategies. There has been a significant change in direction towards local delivery, collaboration, a
whole-person approach and working across all ages. Both strategies will work well for London
volleyball, our clubs, players and participants. Full details can be found at UNITING THE
MOVEMENT – 10 Yr SPORT ENGLAND STRATEGY and LDN MOVING – LONDON SPORT
However, having been unable to enjoy our sport properly for nearly a year, all volleyballers’ thoughts,
I’m sure, are on the day we can again play normally. We anticipate new advice from Sport England
and Volleyball England with some hope but will have listened to the Prime Minister’s announcement
on Monday with a sinking heart; until mid May, except for children playing at school and organised
volleyball outdoors we cannot play until 12th April at the earliest. Note the word, “Organised”. We
can’t just arrange to meet a few friends on the common. Your club should plan things. Yet there is
encouraging news. The vaccination programme’s success means the beach season looks likely to go
ahead and next indoor season could get under way as normal.
Anticipating this, the Association Chairman has written to London club secretaries to advise them to
start their preparations. There is going to be fierce competition for venues in which to play. “When is
a good time to contact venues?” is the question he seeks to answer for us.
Venues are still closed and have no precise idea when or how they will open; many will be worried
about how they are going to open. Schools will need to balance the revenue received from external
lettings against the additional costs incurred from cleaning costs and the disruption to their core work.
It may be a good idea to reach out to schools to let them know that you are still interested when
restrictions are lifted and indoor play is allowed. It may also be prudent to bring their attention to the
newly announced government funding that will be made available to help facilities to open into the
evening. This can be found at HELP TO OPEN SCHOOL SPORTS FACILITIES Gary hope that this
will help all clubs to prepare for restarting later in the year.
Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton
Material, Gary Beckford