UK Deaf Sport response to the 2nd lockdown

On Thursday 5th November 2020 England entered a new period of national restrictions, the days and weeks ahead will be challenging for everyone involved in grassroots sport, as well as in all the activities by the new restrictions. We join our colleagues and friends in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland who have already been following through tighter restrictions over the past couple of weeks.

At UK Deaf Sport, the health and safety of everyone involved in the delivery and supporting of activities for Deaf children, young people and adults is our first priority. We will continue to support and work with our partners and key contacts within the sport and physical activity sector along with engaging and supporting the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community across the UK.

We know that Deaf and Disabled people have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19 and most recently the introduction of masks has added an additional challenge to Deaf people accessing the services and activities in their local areas. We must also be aware of the added difficulty of sports being limited outside and early nights causing more issues communicating outside in the dark.

Indoor facilities including gyms, leisure centres, pools, tennis and basketball courts, fitness and dance studios and climbing walls must close until 2 December.

What physical activity can you do outside?

Current guidance produced by Sport England is :

  • People can go outdoors to be active as many times as they like, either on their own, with their household or support bubble, or on their own with one person from another household while keeping two metres apart.

  • Children who are under school age if they’re with a parent/carer, or people dependent on round-the-clock care, do not count towards the limit of two people from different households meeting outside.

  • Public places such as parks, the countryside, beaches and public gardens can stay open, as can outdoor playgrounds.

  • All organised community outdoor sport is not permitted, and facilities including basketball and tennis courts, outdoor gyms and skateparks must close.

  • All children’s grassroots sport outside of school – both indoor and outdoor – must stop, but schools and nurseries will stay open and activity will be permitted within these settings during school hours, with playgrounds staying open.

This can guidance produced by Sport England can be found here.

What is UK Deaf Sport doing?

UK Deaf Sport is supporting the Sport and Recreation Alliance ‘Save Community Sports Clubs and Leisure Facilities with a Sports Recovery Fund’ petition which can be found here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/553619

We join our partners across the sector in calling on the government to act now to protect community sport. Deaf and Disabled people are more at risk than any other group but deserve the right to the same opportunities as everyone in

society to live active lives. We know that the winter months do bring additional challenges for many Deaf and Disabled people, especially if sport and physical activity opportunities are limited causing to an increase in social isolation and loneliness for these communities.

The government must act immediately to save inclusive and disability clubs, and facilities at the heart of our communities.

We will continue to support and pass on the relevant guidance to our members with their queries as best we can. Please contact us at [email protected] with any questions you may have.

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