Updated: 26 May 2020 Elite Athletes
Published: 17 Mar 2020

T&RA statement

Almost all Real Tennis ceased when HMG announced gyms should be closed (20 March), three days ahead of the lock-down announcement, and the T&RA made an announcement on the evening of 20 March. This was made with a heavy heart and all Clubs immediately complied.

Having studied the most recent guidance and the gradual release from the lock down, it is clear the early emphasis will be on outdoor sports and activity, within the boundaries of social distancing. It is important to stress that this remains an extremely difficult situation throughout the UK and the T&RA is acutely aware that many lives have been lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects of the virus will continue to be felt for a long time to come. As a sport we must work together to resume play responsibly as and when the HMG determines it is safe to do so, and determined by the newly announced COVID Alert State. We must ensure that the safety and well being of everyone involved, from our professionals to the players, is maintained at all times. Tennis clubs and their members have observed the lock down very well and must keep it up and act responsibly as play resumes.

The T&RA has drawn up guidance for the time when indoor sport is deemed safe to proceed and the first draft is already with Club Chairmen to discuss with their Committees and professionals. The trigger is currently undefined but will be connected with a lower transmission rate. On the currently announced timetable I can't see this being before July but, like everything with this dreadful virus, the situation can change rapidly. Although many will argue that social distancing is possible for singles, there is the issue of viral transmission within an enclosed space such as a court. 

I will continue to seek further clarity and stay in touch with you all.

The government have pledged to support small businesses; please see Government guidance for employers and businesses

All T&RA events for the 2019/20 season have cancelled or postponed, including the following events:

  • LRTA Ladies Open (Seacourt) - rescheduled 28 October - 1 November
  • Over 70 Amateur Championships (Wellington)
  • Category A (Oxford)
  • Category G (Oratory)
  • Trophee Kressman, Coupe de Bordeaux and the Bordeaux Official Club Opening 
  • LRTA International (Petworth)
  • All-Comers, Silver and Gold Racquet (MCC)        
  • Junior World Championship (Tuxedo) - rescheduled 28-30 December (UK)
  • Kings Goblet (RTC)
  • Champions Trophy (RTC)

For 2020/21, the French Open has been cancelled

  • French Open September 2020

Elite Athletes

The T&RA notes the updated guidance “Elite sport return to training guidance: Stages One and Two “published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport updated 25 May 2020”. The conclusion is that Real Tennis professionals are not “elite athletes” within this specific definition. The rule remains that  'no exercise in an indoor sports court' is permissible.

Elite Athletes

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