Next step for athletes

New indoor and outdoor training guidance for Scotland's athletes

New guidance has been published which has eased restrictions on training for performance and professional athletes, coaches and support staff in Scotland.

Active Scotland and sportscotland have worked closely with partners in recent weeks to develop guidance, appropriate to Scotland, which follows the Scottish Government’s route map through and out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On June 11 guidance was issued that allowed for the initial return of performance sport. It meant professional and performance athletes could engage in outdoor, individual or group training, with appropriate physical distancing and health and hygiene measures in place. It also allowed travel to outdoor training sites beyond the current Scottish Government guideline of broadly 5 miles.

The new guidance published today has eased restrictions further, to help support the return of competitive sport. The key changes for professional and performance athletes and staff are:

  • Individual indoor training is now permitted with appropriate safety protocols. The sportscotland Institute of Sport will give approval for each sport and venue.
  • Small groups of athletes and staff will now be able to interact with closer contact outdoors. This can include close quarters coaching and tackling in team sports.

To ensure these changes are implemented in the safest possible manner for athletes and staff each sport/club must adhere to the following:

  • Name an existing member of staff as a COVID-19 officer to be responsible for relevant risk assessments, as well as having a named COVID medical officer who is a qualified physician.
  • Carry out screening for COVID-19 symptoms before each entry to the training environment including temperature checks.

Forbes Dunlop, Chief Operating Officer, sportscotland:

“We all want to see a return to sport at all levels as soon as it is safe to do so. This new guidance will be welcome news for performance and professional athletes in Scotland and those who work with them and represents a positive step as we seek to rebuild the sporting system at all levels.

“While this is good news, public health and wellbeing being remains the most pressing priority.

"We must all continue to play our part in supressing the spread of the virus by adhering to government guidance to ensure that the transition back to sport, at all levels, is as safe as possible.

“As we continue to move through the Scottish Government’s route map through and out of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to work with our partners in Scottish Government, governing bodies of sport and local authorities to support the phased return of sport at all levels.”

Euan Lowe, Chief Executive of Scottish Swimming:

“This is a good step in the right direction and will help our athletes keep their Olympic and Paralympic preparation on track. We have been working hard with partners sportscotland, British Swimming and the University of Stirling to support this process and see this as an important first step to help inform the wider return to aquatics across the whole sport.

 “In the meantime guidance documents about a return to aquatics in Scotland continue to be developed in a careful and considered way for a return for the whole sport, with Scottish Swimming working with key partners including the Scottish Government, sportscotland, Public Health Scotland as well as Pool Providers from across Scotland. These documents can only be published once approved by sportscotland and the Scottish Government.”

Find out more

About the full details of the guidance.

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