Update from Welsh Gymnastics August 2021
On Friday 6 August the Welsh Government announced the move to Level 0 of the Coronavirus Control Plan, lifting further coronavirus restrictions in Wales on August 7 at 06:00am. This is great news for the sport and will hopefully enable you and your club to continue to recover from the impact of Covid-19.
It is important to note that this means that most current legal restrictions will move into guidance, however, some specific legal protections that remain in place.
They are listed below:
- Everyone must continue to isolate for 10 days if they have Covid-19 symptoms or if they have a positive test result.
- Face coverings will continue to be required in most indoor public places in Wales, including on public transport, in shops and in healthcare settings. There will be exemptions for people who cannot wear them, as there are currently. At this time, leisure and gym facilities are recognised as public places.
- All those responsible for premises open to the public, workplaces and activity organisers must carry out a Covid risk assessment and continue to take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. Reasonable measures are defined by each premises or activity organiser in their risk assessment, and guidance is available below.
- Those who have received two doses of the vaccine + 14 days and Under 18’s will no longer be expected to self-isolate if they are a close contact with someone who has tested positive.
Update 6 May 2021
The gym reopened 4 May 2021 adhering to guidance from Welsh Gymnastics:
- Anyone aged 11 and over must wear face coverings until they are taking part in exercise or strenuous activity. For exemptions please review the following https://gov.wales/face-coverings-guidance-public
- Coaches must wear face coverings unless completing exercise or strenuous activity; it is particularly important to avoid wearing a mask whilst performing activities that will cause perspiration (exemptions above).
- Unlimited numbers of children under the age of 18 can gather if the purpose is for the development or well-being of children and the number who can be involved is constrained only by the boundaries of the setting and the need for sufficient adults to be present to facilitate and supervise the activity. In practical terms, gatherings for those under 18 for sport are only limited by the number of adults who must be present (which cannot be more than 30 outdoors/15 indoors) and available space for safe physical distancing.
- Anyone can play sport in a group of 15 people indoors (over 18), if this is part of an organised activity managed for example by a gym, a leisure centre or a sports club. Coaches and match officials would generally be regarded as participants and the 15 should include them. However, anybody who is there to organise or support the activity, if they are working or providing a voluntary service, can also attend and do not need to be considered within the limit of 15.
- Simultaneous gatherings of groups and individuals are also allowed, where there is sufficient space to do so safely and independently. This should only be considered where space is sufficient to allow 100sqft per person as set out in UKactive guidance, where entry and exit for individuals and groups can be managed, and where the space can be partitioned so individuals and groups do not interact, without limiting the ability to allow appropriate ventilation and control environmental factors such as humidity in each space.
- Clubs must utilise the Welsh Gymnastics coach-to-gymnast ratios.
- Social distancing must be maintained at all times. For under 11’s the guidance highlights that it is not always possible for the age group to rigidly social distance, but it should be adhered to and all effort to do so where possible.
- Close proximity will be allowed as per the TeamSport Framework and Return to Contact Coaching Framework fro Under 18’s only at this time.
Update from Welsh Gymnastics March 2021
Welsh Gymnastics have updated their guidance based on the Welsh Government Guidelines. Please find information below on the Return to Outdoor Activity.
- Welsh Government states there is no limit to the total number of children that can attend organised activity. To mitigate transmission, groups within the activity should not exceed 15 and we ask organisers to be mindful of the space available and the number of groups that are able to fit in the space whilst social distancing. Coaches should not exceed the ratios within the WG/BG Gymnast to Coach Ratio document.
- Children and young people aged 18 (or persons who were aged under 18 on 31 August 2020) can take part.
- Adults, including volunteers and qualified professionals may attend these activities where they are involved in running them.
- Adults including parents should always maintain social distancing. Wherever possible efforts should be made to socially distance everyone. Coaches and gymnasts should remain with the same group to reduce the risk of transmission.
- Whilst it is not mandatory for face coverings to be worn outside, organisers should consider whether or not they should be used in spaces where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. Face coverings are not recommended to be worn during sporting activities, games etc. where physical exertion is likely.
- WG will shortly circulate guidelines to clubs on the TeamSport Framework.
- The Return to Coach Contact Framework is not allowed outdoors and coaches must remain socially distanced from gymnasts. No contact is permitted between coach and gymnast (unless in an emergency).
The permissible insured activity is limited to Welsh and British Gymnastics endorsed programmes:
- Jump into Gymnastics
- Core Proficiency (specifically those made available during lockdown)
- Activities centred around fitness, conditioning, and flexibility
- A-Z (Bronze to Silver)
The variables of the environment will determine which skills are appropriate for the session. A thorough Risk Assessment of the environment and activity should take place before each session which is clearly communicated with staff and members. Activity should not include the development of new skills.
In a recent communication to all clubs, we have set out the range of activities that are safe, and the measures they can put in place to ensure that this is done safely.
The safety, experience and wellbeing of gymnasts and all those involved in delivering gymnastics is our highest priority and we hope the option of some activities outdoors will help in reconnecting our members.
The Welsh Government has announced the start of a new lockdown from Sunday 20 December, with rules requiring clubs such as ours to remain closed.
Welsh Gymnastics issued a statement to clubs saying it would provide advice once further details are known.
Welsh Gymnastics released the following:
Following the release of the Welsh Government guidance for returning post firebreak, Welsh Gymnastics can confirm the following:
- Gymnastics clubs can open following the end of the firebreak on November 9th at 12:01am.
- If you are aged 12 and over, you can play sport or exercise in a group of up to 30 people outdoors or 15 people indoors.
- Children aged 11 and under and those organising the activity (such as coaches) are not included in these numbers, but the organisers will need to take all reasonable measures to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. The number of children aged under 11 who can legally participate is constrained only by the boundaries of the setting and the need for sufficient adults to be present to supervise.
- Groups of mixed ages – maximum number in group is determined by the size of space and providing those aged 11 and over do not exceed 15 (excluding coaches)
- Organised activity in simultaneous groups is allowed as long as the capacity is aligned to the UK Active Guidance and the groups can be separated throughout the customers journey.
- Clubs must continue to utilise existing coach to gymnast ratios.
- Social distancing must be maintained at all times.
- Advice on face coverings remains the same. For exemptions please review the following https://gov.wales/face-coverings-guidance-public
For Welsh Government’s FAQ’s please visit: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-regulations-guidance
29 September update
Welsh Gymnastics has issued the following advice:
- Welsh Gymnastics would like to kindly remind members, in accordance with Welsh Government guidelines, not to travel to areas currently under local lockdown to take part in any gymnastics activity.
- We must also stress that clubs within local lockdown areas will therefore NOT be able to allow gymnasts from outside of their lockdown area into their facility, until guidelines change.
- Whilst an allowance exists for people to travel across boundaries to access childcare, where there is no reasonable alternative provision, this does not extend to allow travel to access sport and physical activity for children.
Welsh government advice:
Can sport, leisure and recreation facilities remain open?
Yes. The operators of these facilities must take all necessary measures to manage risk and maintain social distancing, and a gathering of people to exercise or play sport, both indoors and outdoors, must not exceed 30 people. So the leisure centres should remain open.
Who can I play sport or exercise with?
You can only play sport or exercise with others from within the Flintshire County Council area as long as you maintain social distancing, all reasonable steps are taken to minimise risk, and only do so in groups or classes of up to 30 people.
Can I drive somewhere to exercise or play sport?
Yes, as long as you staying within the Flintshire County Council area.
Can gyms and leisure centres stay open?
Yes, as long as they can maintain all the safety requirements to protect people from the risk of contracting coronavirus. Gyms and leisure centres have to put measures in place to ensure social distancing and good hygiene. They may also need to stop certain activities where people are in close contact because the risk of spreading the virus in the area is higher.
New Tuesday class based at Buckley Leisure Centre should be able to happen.
Do I need to wear a face covering when I exercise in a leisure centre or gym?
As gyms and leisure centres are indoor public places, you will need to wear a face covering when you go there and you will need to keep it on depending on what you are doing. If you are preparing to exercise, changing or undertaking any activity that isn’t strenuous, especially when in close contact with other people, you will need to wear a face covering.
However, there may be circumstances where the layout of the premises and the nature of the exercise you are doing mean that it would not be reasonable to expect you to wear a face covering. The World Health Organisation advises against wearing a face covering when exercising as sweat can make a face covering become wet more quickly, making it difficult to breathe and promoting the growth of microorganisms. It advises the important preventive measure during exercise is to maintain physical distance from others.
We received an update from Welsh Gymnastics on 14 September:
- Gymnastics clubs can remain open
- There is no change to the indoor gathering for exercise regulation, the maximum 30 remains.
- Anyone aged 11 and over must wear face coverings until they are taking part in exercise or strenuous activity.
- For exemptions please review the following: https://gov.wales/face-coverings-guidance-public
- Coaches must wear face coverings unless completing exercise or strenuous activity. It is particularly important to avoid wearing a mask whilst performing activities that will cause perspiration
Social distancing is required at all times
If we become located within a local lockdown area, we must adhere to the local regulations.
The Welsh Government continues to ask all clubs to follow Welsh Government and Welsh Gymnastics guidelines at all times and to ensure their risk assessments reflect the change in legislation and our own environment/facility.
Welsh Gymnastics will continue to monitor and update as more clarity, advice and guidance becomes available.
There have been several queries on what the guidance is for those who live with school pupils who have been sent home due to close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19.
Please see below for the excerpt from the official guidance:
Family members of pupils who have been sent home and are not displaying symptoms are not required to self-isolate.
If symptoms arise, everyone in the home should self-isolate for 14 days.
If you are identified as a confirmed contact, you are at an increased risk of catching the disease and passing it on to others.
The contact tracer will get in touch and ask you to self-isolate for 14 days.
Members of your family are not required to self-isolate, but they should follow the general social distancing guidance and avoid contact with you whilst you are isolating at home.
You’ll also be asked to monitor your symptoms so that you get tested as soon as possible if needed.
A range of support is available to individuals being asked to self-isolate as part of contact tracing, particularly if they are vulnerable, and to employers where contact tracing impacts upon business continuity.
As we slowly come out of lockdown, acting quickly to identify cases of coronavirus, and isolating those who may have been infected will be vital to stopping the spread and avoiding a second peak.
Contact tracing is not about enforcement or surveillance and is in the interests of protecting your health and the health of your contacts.
PDF document shared with parents giving an outline of what gymnasts can expect and the steps being taken to keep everyone safe
Reopening the gym – overview
Indoor training can resume from 10 August. We will commence on Monday 17 August to ensure we are ready to do so safely. We will be following the ‘Step Forward Plan’ from Welsh Gymnastics.
The club will ensure that the day to day duties of running the club do not become second to Covid-19 efforts. Areas such as safeguarding and health and safety standards must be maintained.
Welsh Gymnastics advises that the club only return to as much of the activity as we can cope with, given the staffing arrangements at present. Maintaining the safety of the gymnast is paramount.
It will be a progressive training schedule with no coaching support being allowed whilst social distancing is required. For under 11s, the Welsh Government guidance highlights that it is less essential to rigidly maintain a continual 2 metre distance. However, as they can still transmit the virus, social distancing should still be adhered to where possible.
Facility capacity – There is a maximum of 30 persons in the gym at any one time (this includes the coaches and young leaders), gymnast: coach ratios will be adhered to. After each session there will be a 30 minute turn around to allow for the collection of gymnasts, cleaning and arrival of the next group.
As of 17 August only advanced and intermediate gymnasts will be training at the gym.
From September the training timetable will be revised
During the weekday sessions; the coaches will be present for all sessions available for that day. At weekends the coach(es) will only train with one class (they will leave site after their class to avoid crossover). Potentially no young leaders will be able to help, due to numbers and crossover.
No parents will be allowed inside the gym. They will drop off and collect from the designated points.
Gymnasts will queue outside by the main entrance at 2 metre intervals and wait to be admitted to the gym by the coaches. On arrival they will wash their hands and will be taken into the parents’ room, where they can quickly remove any outdoor clothing and enter the gym via the kitchen entrance. All equipment and clothing will be in their own box.
The main gym floor is marked out into sections for each bubble to warm up and complete any group activities and to maintain social distances.
When on pieces there will be a maximum of 6 gymnasts on each piece. However, when completing full beam routines’, this will be reduced to 3.
There will be hand sanitiser to use before they use each piece of equipment and after their turn. When their rotation is complete they will go to wash their hands.
2 metres will continue to be adhered to by coaches with their bubble groups. Each bubble will be assigned a coach.