Following the outbreak of COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown, Hockey Wales took the decision to suspend domestic, club and community hockey on the 16 March 2020 and, shortly afterwards, on the 16 April 2020 hockey in Wales was cancelled.
As the Welsh Government continues with a phased approach to Wales slowly coming out of lockdown, Hockey Wales have considered the information and advice we have been given, and are now in a position to provide our members and the wider hockey family guidance on sensible steps to take when coming out of lockdown.
It is important to note that the considerations set out here are dependent on the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and, at all times, Government Guidelines must be adhered to as they will override any guidance provided within this document.
What the picture looks like moving forward
Hockey Wales has produced a ‘Return to Hockey’ pack which provides general guidance, as well as detailed information to ensure you and your club have the resources in place to make informed decisions around the phased Return to Play.
Whilst we do not know when we will be able to progress through each of the phases, we hope the information provided will help our clubs, members, volunteers, players and parents to scenario plan for a safe and measured return to the game.
Detailed information and resources can be found HERE
Detailed information has been produced for clubs and how they undertake a phased approach to a return to hockey (see link). Your Club Development Officer will be in contact to ensure you have access to this information which provides guidance on welcoming your members back in a safe and compliant environment.
We have been working with Welsh Government Representatives on our elite return to hockey. Crucially, it must be remembered that the Welsh Government will be putting in place different guidelines/phases for the return of elite sport and it is highly likely that it will result in training being undertaken by performance athletes earlier than the phased approach above.
For clarity ‘elite return to hockey’ will include the Wales Senior Squads and Performance Clubs that have Senior Welsh Representatives on their squads. In this case, the only club teams in Wales that will be permitted to train under the ‘elite return to hockey’ rulings are Swansea HC (W1) and Cardiff & Met (M1).
Whilst we are hoping that the Pathway will resume around the same time as the general return to hockey, our primary focus will be to get players back into the club environment and this will take precedence in the Return to Play phase.
Those involved in the Pathway will be contacted by Hockey Wales once we have a clear understanding of our approach based on the phased Return to Play guidance and timelines.
The Hockey Wales initiatives will return as and when the Government Guidelines allow. As this will be on a case-by-case basis, our Club Development Officers will be in touch with lead contacts and partners to provide details.
It is important to note, that even if there are major changes in guidance over the coming weeks, none of the Hockey Wales Summer initiatives will take place.
Representative Club teams for Europe 2021
The information in regard to this competition still stands as reported in the news article on the 16 April 2020 which can be found HERE. Hockey Wales will contact the clubs involved directly with any further updates.
Each facility provider would have undertaken their own risk assessment for a safe return to sport. We strongly advise that all clubs engage with facility providers and adhere to their guidelines.
We will continue to monitor the necessary advice and guidance as it evolves. We will also look to share good practice with as much notice as reasonably possible given the circumstances.
Hockey Wales would like to extend our thanks for your patience and understanding at this time and hope to see you all on the pitch as soon as we are allowed.
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