There’s no getting away from it – the coronavirus pandemic has floored grassroots sport, and, for now at least, the uncertainty makes it very difficult to see a way out.
Elite sport – notably Premier League and other top level football around the world – is braced to take financial hits in ways that seemed utterly unimaginable just a couple of months ago. Grassroots sport won’t suffer in the same way, for it is not fuelled by nor dependent on the billions that slosh around elite level sport, but that does not mean it is immune from the chaos created by the deadly pandemic. Far from it.
Exit strategies for grassroots sport clubs?
It could be fair to say exit strategies, both in day-to-day life and in grassroots sport, might not be at the forefront of our minds at the moment, as many of us are existing in the present, trying our best to survive, and keep our mental and physical health intact, from one day to the next. The light at the end of the tunnel seems a fair way off.
However, there *is* some light at the end of the tunnel and we all need something to look forward to. For everyone involved in grassroots sport, much of that light is provided by the prospect of getting back to playing sport with our clubs; to see our teammates again, to score goals again, to celebrate together again, to score runs again, to take wickets again, to hit targets again, to make birdies again…whatever it is that gets our sporting juices flowing.
Sport while social distancing?
Clearly, society will not go crashing back into normal action as soon as ‘lockdown’ is over. There must surely be an incremental reintroduction into every facet of our lives, with social distancing destined to remain on the agenda for a long while yet. So how on earth does grassroots sport deal with it?
Some sports could begin to function again while abiding pretty much entirely with social distancing measures. Solo sports, like golf, archery, even tennis and bowls, could arguably resume with no real ramifications. Athletics, one suspects, along with boxing and martial arts, are a completely different matter – while team sports are going be well and truly in the mire. The likes of football, netball, hockey, lacrosse, probably even cricket, and others, stand no chance of resuming with even a modicum of normality while social distancing measures remain in place.
Working collectively to figure out a way forward
So what are we to do? We certainly don’t claim to have the answers, but would love to hear from people involved with grassroots sports clubs on their ideas or proposals on how we ease back into action. Have any of you discussed with your teammates, over Zoom or Skype perhaps, how you might return to action?
We are all flailing around in the dark, with none of us qualified nor equipped to have the answers to these unprecedented problems. We are all in this together, and so surely a collective and collegiate effort and response is the best way forward for us all. Hit us up with your ideas in the comments on our Facebook page.
And for now – stay home, stay safe.
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