From Croquet to Quidditch: Find out how Sheffield clubs are preparing for the return of grassroots sports

Written by Michael Jones

Image credit: Sheffield Hockey Club

On March 29th the latest easing of lockdown restrictions come into place, which will allow outdoor sport facilities to reopen to the public.

In light of this, here’s a snapshot of some of Sheffield’s local sports clubs to see how they are preparing to return to action and how you can join in.

Croquet

Eugene Chang, Chairman of Sheffield Croquet Club, said that due to Croquet being a very socially-distanced friendly sport, sales had gone up in equipment by 600% at some retailers:

“It’s been really good for people’s mental health, that they were able to do something different to walking. We are going to be reopening at Easter, we are open for general membership. If people want to come as a small group to try it out we can provide sanitised equipment for them to use.”

https://www.facebook.com/SheffieldCroquetClub

Football

Barney Chart, President of Sheffield Union Football Club: “We plan on resuming a routine training programme from 29 March, and making sure players are available over Easter to start playing in the Brian and Judith Bradley Memorial Cup from 3 April for the first team. The second team have league fixtures to play out until the end of the season. The lads are absolutely raring to get going again with a lot of the second team players pushing for a spot in the first team. It is a great chance to get our hands on some silverware after a long time out!”

Hockey

Sheffield Hockey Club: “Sheffield Hockey Club is excited at the prospect of resuming grass roots sports and getting back on the pitch. We are awaiting with hope for the guidance to be issued this week from England Hockey’s conversations with the government and are putting plans in place to proceed with caution in managing our Covid protocols, which we successfully deployed last year to assure the safety of our members. I would sum it up as cautiously excited!”

 

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Rugby Union

Hallamshire RUFC: “At the moment we’re waiting on the Rugby Football Union for guidance details, the general plan so far is to start with limited contact training after the 29th March. This will involve handling drills, uncontested rucking etc. To allow players to get back to the swing of rugby. Once the May milestone passes we can play modified rugby against other clubs, June would see a return to full contact rugby with Rucks, mauls etc. It looks like rugby will be back to normal next season, at the earliest at the moment. As ever though Hallamshire will welcome anyone who wants to come take part, we run a men’s senior team (18+) and will be posting updates on training on our Facebook page as plans are confirmed.”

Quidditch

Amit Portnoy, President of Sheffield Quidditch Club: “Once the rule of 6 is in place from the 29th of March, we will be able to hold socially distant 6 person trainings in our usual spot at the Ponderosa. If anyone wants to join, there will be links to sign up to training.” https://www.facebook.com/sheffieldquidditchclub/

Tennis

Jonathan Wragg, head coach at Fulwood Sports Club: “We have 3 weeks of children’s Easter camps and the normal junior programme will start again in the summer term. Our men’s and ladies teams are also keen to be back playing matches later in April. I am sure the tennis courts will be very busy with people enjoying the chance to play again. ”

With a host of sporting activities to choose from, those in Sheffield should be excited at the prospect of getting back out onto the pitches, courts and parks which they have sorely missed out on over the last few months.

Written by Michael Jones

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