A welcome return to playing Gaelic games in Scotland

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As GAA clubs in Scotland are set to return to play, Jenn Treacy, Secretary of Scotland GAA, outlines the way Gaelic games can safely recommence.

OVER the months of lockdown Scotland GAA/LGFA has eagerly awaited the return to play, albeit with a wait that everyone would agree was necessary and important. With so many of our members throughout the country working in key roles at this time including in the Health and Education sectors, there is a great sense of perspective. We’d like to take the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to all the men and women working tirelessly throughout the pandemic and those who have endeared themselves in their communities, making many positive contributions along the way.

The clubs of Scotland have embraced our ‘new normal’ the past few months bringing their communities together through charity events such as half marathons, Coast to Coast runs and online quizzes. It has been a tough lockdown but many in the GAA community have used the opportunity to reflect on how truly special our games are and how much more they mean to us than just simply taking part in a sporting activity.

For those away from home, having club activity cease suddenly was a devastating blow in terms of settling in their new home, making friends, and building a social network. Clubs have, however, used this time to reach out to players and members to check in—using virtual opportunities to catch up and stay together as a group.

With the return of youth contact sports this week, our clubs are embracing the opportunity to return to our games safely and with a renewed perspective. The GAA in Britain and Scotland GAA have implemented the ‘Return to Play Roadmap’ successfully over the past two months. Clubs have appointed Covid-19 Supervisors to oversee every step of the return. Members, players, parents and guardians have completed the GAA’s eLearning Module and submitted their Health Questionnaires using the online GAA system.

Clubs are also taking steps to minimise risk at every session—adhering to social distancing measures, creating training ‘bubbles’, reducing equipment sharing, and practising excellent hygiene on all accounts.

It is hoped that a return to adult training is now imminent and the Scotland County Board is working in conjunction with all clubs and the Provincial Council to ensure a programme of games is available should we get the ‘green light’ in the coming weeks.

Although we are all eager to get back to playing our games, we are all reassured knowing that we will only do so if it is safe for our members. Thank you to all in the Scotland GAA community for their understanding, patience, resilience and ingenuity at this time.

For more information on the Safe Return to Gaelic Games please email Jenn Treacy at: secretary.scotland@gaa.ie

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