T&RA Response to Roadmap (Tennis)

23 Feb 2021

Key message remains that Tennis is a naturally socially-distanced and safe activity and so we would have liked restrictions to be lifted without delay and made the case for this.

Whilst the T&RA welcomes the Prime Minister's roadmap statement, which includes plans for restarting grassroots sport, there is still some confusion regarding when Real Tennis can start for clubs. The T&RA is seeking further clarity, while stressing the point that the government has already accepted the hard earned concession that Tennis is a naturally socially distanced sport. 

In short, it remains a possibility that Tennis may recommence in Phase 2 (no earlier than 12th April), but there is more certainty that clubs may open in Phase 3 (no earlier than 17th May). If the government recognize our arguments and we can start at the earlier date, it will almost certainly only be for singles (mixed households) or doubles (same households). As and when we receive a definitive answer, further guidance will be promulgated. The T&RA remains committed to the education of our sport ministers at DCMS, emphasizing the illogicality of some of the government decision making.

It is  important that Tennis Clubs can reopen as soon as it is safe for them to do so. We are aware that many clubs have suffered real financial challenges so it is vital that we protect these community assets.

Real Tennis in schools

The Government’s roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions in England confirms that schools will reopen from 8 March, and that school sport can resume from this date. Activities such as Tennis which encourage genuine distancing but help to keep children physically active are highly encouraged

The Department for Education has published guidance to support the resumption of physical activity in schools, and professionals should be aware of the following points:

  • Each school has the flexibility to decide how sport and physical activity will be provided
  • Pupils should be kept in consistent groups, with equipment cleaned between use by individual groups
  • While outdoor sports should be prioritised, large indoor spaces can be used
  • Competition between different schools should not take place until wider grassroots sport for under 18s is permitted

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