On behalf of everyone at Badminton England, I hope you and your loved ones are continuing to stay safe and healthy at this time.
It’s been a particularly busy period which accelerated following the Prime Minister's address to the nation about Coronavirus, where he outlined the roadmap to the gradual easing of the lockdown restrictions over the coming months. For our sector, the main areas of relevance from this were:
Step 1 (as of Wednesday 13 May)
- Unlimited outdoor exercise, alone, in household groups, or with one person from another household while observing social distancing.
- Opening of outdoor sport facilities where they feel able to do so safely, to allow people to participate in activity while observing social distancing guidelines.
- Return to training for elite and professional sports
Step 2 (no earlier than 1 June)
- Sporting events behind closed doors for broadcast
Step 3 (no earlier than 4 July)
- Opening of indoor leisure facilities, where safe to do so and in line with social distancing.
To provide some additional clarity about what the steps mean for badminton in England, Badminton England has produced its own guidance roadmap.
A key part of our work at the moment is focused on the badminton community and we are in the process of calling every club, coach, and County Badminton Association to understand more about the challenges they face as they begin to consider their respective returns to badminton. We continue to learn so much from you and I am delighted that almost £50,000 has been secured from the Sport England Community Emergency Fund to support the challenges faced at this time.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your understanding of our current working situation. Approximately one third of our staff remain furloughed which inevitably puts pressure on other people in the organisation, but the number of staff out of the business currently is critical to our management of the financial impact on Badminton England as a consequence of the situation.
I will conclude by thanking those of you who are sharing some great activity on your social media channels. We remain in very challenging times and so its uplifting to see the range of creative and engaging activity so many of you are involved in.
We are all looking forward to getting back on court as soon as it is safe to do so but, in the meantime, thank you for your ongoing support and take care.