How the Olympians are adapting to training during Covid

Over the last few months we’ve all had to change how we live our day to day lives, this of course has leaked into how we train and participate in sports. Gone are the days, for now, where we could simply turn up to the public parks and simply claim space to meet up with the team and play some quidditch. Now each session we run, needs a large amount of planning and preparation to ensure that we can limit the risk to our players of transmitting Covid to one and other as much as possible.

Quidditch UK have published some very helpful advice which you can find here. It includes a breakdown of advice from the government guidelines and Sports UK to highlight relevant policies that effect quidditch. They also provide a templated risk assessment that we advise any team wanting to return to some form of training to fill out, as it will help make planning safety precautions a whole lot easier.

But what are the Olympians doing to reduce the risk, we hear you cry. Well, we’ll be the first to admit that as a team we can be a little bit extra, and we’re not making an exception now. We’ve put into place a series of safe guarding steps that we hope will help to keep our players and the public they come in contact with, nice and safe.

So, here’s what Manchester and Leeds’ community quidditch team is doing about Covid;

1. We’ve followed QUK’s guidelines and have submitted a risk assessment.
We’ve followed all guidelines set out by QUK to help create a safe environment for our players. This includes creating and acting upon a full risk assessment, creating a session plan around socially distanced activities and regularly revisiting government and sports UK guide lines to update our plans when new information becomes available.

2. We’ve gone on a shopping spree to arm up with all manner of disinfectant.
Not satisfied with simply avoiding Covid, we plan to try and kill it out with our arsenal of disinfectants. We’ve stocked up on anti-viral and anti-bacterial wipes, sprays and hand gels that will be used liberally during any and all of our events.

3. We’ve got more PPE than the NHS.

Not that we’re scared or anything, but a bit of armour never hurt anyone. We’ve stocked the club up on disposable gloves, aprons and masks to help ensure that minimal contact and risk occurs if our first aiders need to interact with players physically. We will also be using disposable PPE when transporting kit and cleaning up the pitches.

4. We’re limiting space at our training sessions.
The current Government rules allow a maximum of 30 people to attend a training, so as we are a good law-abiding club, we have limited our available spaces to 30 people. The 30 will then be further broken down into training squads of six, again working within Government guidelines and helping to create socially distanced bubbles to train with.

5. We’ve booked out the space so the dirty public can’t get us.
The easiest way to socially distance is to make sure you have some distance from society. To help make this possible, we’ve contacted the playing fields to book out our space to ensure that we’re not having to try and work between sun bathers and families having a day out in the park.

6. We’ve created a comprehensive Covid plan that marks out all the mitigating steps we’ll take before, during and after training.
Like any good plan, the Olympians definitely have one. We’ve created a comprehensive session guide that includes instruction of where participants should leave their belongings, timed segments for disinfecting equipment and rotations for groups to move to different activities. This also includes a list of Olympians QC members who have volunteered to take on additional responsibilities to help the smooth and safe running of the sessions.

7. We’ve prepared our session to be fully compatible with current social distancing guidelines.
The coaching team have been busy at work creating a session plan that will be fun and engaging, but most importantly safe and limit the risk of transmission. As well as separating into smaller training groups, this involves carefully picked drills and the creation of new training games that remove physical contact between players as much as possible and allow for a recreation of the sport with in the low numbers of the training groups.

 

During these unprecedented times, we as a club have to be constantly prepared to change our practises or cancel events at a moment’s notice. We were fortunate that we foresaw issues with setting our open training sessions at the start of August, and narrowly avoided (we hope) the Greater Manchester tightening of restrictions. With the restrictions currently set to be eased on the 15th of August, we hope our caution pays off and we are able to hold our first open training in Manchester on the 22nd of August. Giving us a full week after the easing of restrictions to further monitor the situation.

If you would like more information on our summer open sessions or to be kept up to date, we recommend finding our Manchester quidditch session here, or our Leeds quidditch session here.

To read our club Covid plans in full, copies can be found here, outlining our sessions provisions and the steps we ask our attendees to take.

If you need help or advice on getting your club Covid ready, we recommend first consulting with Quidditch UK for help and advice. If you need assistance putting your plan into action, feel free to message the Olympians here and we’ll do everything we can to help.

We hope that you are well and safe.