SKFC SUMMER CAMP - AN UPDATE FROM JOE:
I thought I would write this as a blog post to make all the information clear. I want to start by saying that SKFC intends to run our summer camp, providing government guidance allows us to open up and run a programme that is as - or at least nearly as - enjoyable as our usual setup.
The first piece of news is of the good variety - indoor activity clubs are permitted, with strict hygiene & social distancing measures in place to make sites 'covid-secure'. Obviously, SK is primarily an outdoor setting - but, on rainy days (not that we get many of those in North West England!) and at breaks and lunchtimes we tend to go inside.
The next two pieces of news however aren't good. Firstly, it is unlikely that our home venue - Club Cheadle Hulme - will be able to open. This means we're currently considering safe, secure and local sites for our camp to run. We don't envisage this being a problem, but we'll confirm when we have news. Secondly, at the moment social distancing is still in operation and sports aren't one of the exceptions to the new 'one metre plus' rule.
I'm sure everyone will agree that our socially distanced small group sessions have not only been enjoyable, but also a welcome bit of normality for so many boys & girls, and have had a positive impact on both physical and mental wellbeing. The difference, however, is that those sessions are one hour long - running a full camp day in those conditions concerns us. We've currently read the following things:
Camps are encouraged to be in 'bubbles' of no more than 10 - the same group all day, everyday and with the same coach
If said 'bubbles' aren't possible, children must be in groups of no more than 5 and only play outdoors
Children must be socially distanced all day
Groups should be kept the same daily - with no changes
This current guidance essentially renders SKFC Camp impossible in anything close to its usual, exciting format. In my role as manager of camp, I feel those restrictions don't allow for children to have an enjoyable day. Our camp is somewhat different to many - we don't see our camp primarily as childcare. It's a football camp - full of training, matches, tournaments, competitions and fun games - which of course, is timed around being convenient childcare - but it's not necessarily the primary reason people come to SK.
We really, really hope that the guidance will change. Certainly, without wishing to be political, I personally feel there are many permitted activities that carry a much larger perceived risk than juniors playing sport outdoors. If the guidance doesn't change, we've got the following options to think of:
A) A reduced camp for those that need us. However, we think there should be plenty of alternatives locally, so it may be that we find and recommend those
B) A half-day camp, with smaller numbers and a one hour changeover, with no lunch break at SKFC.
C) The continuation of our small group sessions in replacement of camp, with the option for everyone to do more sessions to keep active over the summer break
Of course, if any of our coaches get a brainwave that brings about any other exciting ideas - we'll absolutely get the ball rolling with them. However, the SK commitment to both our players and coaches is that we won't run a camp that isn't fun for everyone - that's definitely not The SK Way.
For now, all I can do is keep you all updated and we can all cross our fingers for some new guidance that permits us to run something close to our usual summer football frenzy! If you have any questions, contact me on:
Tel - 07946 780921
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
And I'll endeavour to be in touch as soon as possible. Thanks to everyone for reading!