Dear Area Association and league representative,
I have just finished a call with Welsh Government in which they finally clarified the situation regarding coaches being exempt from outdoor activity. Unfortunately, they have admitted they have made an error in the Frequently Asked Questions section and have confirmed, based on the below statement that the following is in place
Do the restrictions on gatherings of more than 4 people apply to sports and exercise?
Not in the same way. You can play sport or exercise in a group of up to 30 people outdoors or 15 people indoors, if this is part of an organised activity managed for example by a gym, a leisure centre or a sports club. Children aged under 11 and those organising the activity (such as coaches) are not included in these numbers, but the organisers will need to take all reasonable measures to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
- This is only applicable to those organizing activities for children aged under 11
- Coaches, first aiders, COVID Officers and Safeguarding Officers involved in a training session or match-day for U12 – 16s, youth, senior, veterans and walking football MUST CONTINUE TO BE INCLUDED in the 30-person number
- Match officials would also still need to be included within the 30-person limit
- AS A RESULT, apart from children U-11 there is no change to the protocols that were in place prior to the fire-break lockdown for outdoor training and matches
Welsh Government have assured me that they will amend the FAQs document to reflect the intention of this guideline and remove any scope for misinterpretation. They have also assured me they will consult with both Sport Wales and the Welsh Sports Association to inform them of this change. I appreciate this is extremely frustrating for us all and unfortunately is a reflection of the lack of clarity we have received throughout this process from decision makers at a government level.
In the interest of openness and transparency I have included the recording from last night’s meeting however as I explained during last night’s presentation a number of the decisions and changes I presented were conditioned on receiving confirmation from Government officials.
I will be presenting an amended version of last night’s presentation to the clubs this evening which I will then share with you all to reflect the above clarification.
One area I can provide some clarity on is access to changing rooms and toilets for matches following a few questions received since our meeting. Changing rooms should not be used as players should arrive and depart a playing facility in their playing kit. Under government guidelines, toilet facilities should be opened for outdoor activities to take place. This is not an FAW directive. If facilities are not operating within government guidelines then this is an issue for the facility provider to be responsible for. However, providing all players and club coaches and officials are aware that toilets are unavailable prior to any match being played, matches can take place without these facilities being available.
Thank you for cooperation and support.
Head of Football Development on behalf of FAW Trust