Football

Ministers Ross and Griffin welcome guidance for kids and teens to return safely to sport

12 Jun 2020
David Gash
National

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross and the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin, T.D., have today warmly welcomed the publication by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) of guidance for the return to sports activities for children and adolescents.

Minister Ross said: “The return of children and teenagers to sport is a major step on our journey back. The population at large has been greatly missing its sport, but it’s fair to say that children and adolescents have probably missed it most, whether on the TV or more importantly out on the field. Training with friends and teammates is hugely important to young people and provides memories and connections that shape their later lives. The experience of the last few weeks has been difficult but I hope that the progress we are making gives young people, and their parents, a real sense that we are coming out of the COVID-19 crisis and that better days are certainly ahead. However, we all need to abide by health and safety precautions and this is emphasised in the guidance.”

“I am pleased to note that the Expert Group on Return to Sport, which Minister Griffin and I established a few weeks ago, was asked to contribute to the development of this guidance. We appreciate greatly the commitment of the Expert Group members who are sharing their expertise for the benefit of all sports.”

Minister Griffin said: “The guidance published by the HPSC is a very significant development for sports clubs throughout the country. Since the middle of March, there has been an eerie silence about so many sports grounds and while people must still continue to respect all social distancing and other public health requirements, it is clear now that sport is on the way back.”

“A few weeks ago, Minister Ross and I established an Expert Group on Return to Sport, which is assisting the sporting bodies in carefully resuming activities in accordance with the Government’s Roadmap. That important work will intensify in the months ahead.”

“While the Government decision of last week permitting outdoor summer camps was good news for children and parents across the country, I would ask people to be patient with the sporting bodies in terms of resuming activities. It will inevitably take a little time to get things organised at club level. Ensuring safety is an absolute priority and I know that our sporting organisations and volunteers will take all necessary steps as outlined in the guidance.”