2020 post lock statement

2020 post lock down plan

On the 18th of May the English Shinty Association committee met to discuss the impact of the current government lock down on our plans for shinty in England in 2020 and beyond. The lockdown has led to the cancellation of games and training throughout the country, and the postponement of the ESA annual general meeting.

Firstly, the current chair Jo Claridge is leaving us to go back to New Zealand, so the committee members have chosen Joy Elliott-Bowman to stand in as temporary chair until we can organise an AGM.

Secondly, although delayed we will be looking to have the 2020 AGM in person. We feel a physical meeting is going to be better for participation and numbers attending, ensuring more members are able to vote on proposals and select the next committee. The AGM date will be determined with great consideration of the current situation and on any future increases in the infection rate. Previous AGMs have been attended by up to 40 people so we will be considering government advice and the advice of our safety officer to ensure we can meet safely. Ultimately, if we cannot have the AGM in person between now and March 31st 2021 we will have a digital AGM before that date.

Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our players, their families and communities. We must consider the advice and evidence available at any given time, and be prepared to be flexible if infection rates rise. With this in mind the committee wants to take a very cautious approach to get back to playing shinty.

ESA will bring shinty back in stages, in-line with Camanachd Association, government and Sport England guidelines. The Committee will decide how long a stage will last for depending on the above guidance. ESA will wait at least two weeks before deciding to move into the next stage to assess the impact on players and teams. ‘Conditioned Games’ will be the first option, when we come to the stage of playing games.

We are not yet at stage 1 and players should follow government advice and exercise only with those from your household or in socially distant groups of up to 6 from Monday 1st June.

Stage 1, we will invite teams to train locally, asking players not to move between teams.

Stage 2, Teams can organise their own Six-a-side matches locally or with nearby teams, . Travel should be kept to a minimum.

Stage 3, Tournaments with larger numbers of six-a-side teams can be organised provided they keep numbers within government and CA guidelines.

More detailed guidance and protocols for training and games will be sent to each club, as we move through each stage, and must be followed.

Regrettably, Large tournaments such as the ESA National Championships and the London Shinty Festival are unlikely to take place in 2020 due to the large numbers involved. League and tournament organisers are asked to work collaboratively with the ESA committee in planning their events and any decisions taken will be continually under review as the pandemic develops.

We hope to resume the English National League in 2021 should the circumstances allow.

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