Returning to clubs: A parent’s perspective

Date: 29 July 2020   Author: Energise Me

As the physical activity sector re-opens, many parents find themselves with mixed feelings about sending their kids back to clubs. Sharon shares her experience as her children return to their favourite sport and physical activity clubs.


Before the Covid-19 ‘Lockdown’ my children were pretty much at some sort of sports activity or club every day of the week. Swimming, Athletics, Hockey, Football and Triathlon took up their evenings and weekends.

During Lockdown we have tried to help them maintain some level of activity. We’ve had family walks, bike rides and even our very own family gym. We have been trying to keep fit and active and enjoying time as a family too.

But now restrictions are easing, and their regular activities are starting to open up. How do I feel about letting them widen the ‘bubble’ we have lived in over the past few months?

To see the joy and excitement of Ella returning to training and seeing all here team mates for the first time in months was definitely worth any apprehension.

A slow and steady return

First came the return to football. Winchester Flyers Football Club were the first back on the scene returning to weekly coaching a few weeks ago. There was guidance for the girls to follow. They had to keep 2m apart (no tackling or actual game play), they had to take their own ball and parents had to stay just in case there were any injuries. Largely it was skill-based. But to see the joy and excitement of Ella returning to training and seeing all her team mates for the first time in months was definitely worth any apprehension we might have had as parents.

Oscar’s athletics coaching was back in operation a week later. Again, the coaches have been great at ensuring the children maintain a 2m distance. They are training in small pods of 5 athletes and anytime they handle equipment, Javelins etc. they clean their hands with gel. Again, parents have been required to stay to deal with any problems with their own child.

Now Hockey is also back on the agenda this week. With the easing of restrictions the Hockey Club has decided to run some summer camps. Again, Ella is excited to see friends she hasn’t seen since March, when the Hockey Season came to an abrupt end.

As a parent I really appreciate the time, effort and thought that clubs have gone to ensure a speedy return to the new ‘normal’.

How I feel

Clubs run by volunteers have been doing such a fantastic job in unpicking all the government and NGB guidance. They are doing everything they can to ensure everyone’s safety and get activities going again. As a parent, I really appreciate the time, effort and thoughts that clubs have gone to in order to ensure a speedy return to the new ‘normal’.

As parents, we want to keep our children safe. I will admit we were a little apprehensive and anxious about them returning to sport and mixing with a wider group of people. However, after months away from the sports they love we needed to consider not just their physical health but also their mental wellbeing. We have most definitely seen a change in energy levels. It has put a little bit of buzz back into their daily routine now they are seeing friends and training again.

Their coaches have been great in ensuring everyone follows the guidelines, which have been kept clear and simple. This has most definitely helped alleviate any of our own worries. And, as for Oscar and Ella, well they have taken everything in their stride. They are accepting the sports they enjoy aren’t quite ‘normal’ just yet.  They’ve loved seeing friends, burning off some energy and having some time away from us parents!

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