Update on junior section plans for the new season
Following the government announcements earlier this week, it very much looks as though organised kids sport, including cricket, is now going to be possible after Easter, and the club is proceeding on that basis. All plans are of course provisional, but we thought it would be useful for the membership to know at this point what the club has in mind to get going as quickly as possible, and do what we can to make up for the loss of opportunities to train over the winter …
Plans for the Easter holidays (weeks commencing 5 and 12 April)
In the week immediately after Easter, i.e. w/c 5 April 2021, it is planned that there will be holiday cricket camps run by Matchfit at Blackheath. Arrangements and maximum numbers etc will obviously be subject to whatever Covid regulations and ECB guidelines are then in force, however it is intended that there will be sessions each morning between 9am and 1pm for juniors in the U8 age groups and older, with shorter sessions in the early afternoons for younger children. The cost is expected to be in line with previous holiday camps.
In the following week, i.e. w/c 12 April 2021, we plan to run intensive pre-season training sessions, both in the mornings and the afternoons, for all Blackheath junior league squads (i.e. U8 boys upwards and U10 girls upwards). We intend that all squads will be offered between 4 and 6 hours coaching during the week. There will be a modest charge for this as this training is not part of the normal membership package, but is in effect the best we can do by way of a substitute for winter nets. Again, detailed arrangements and maximum numbers will be decided nearer the time when we know the applicable regulations.
All places on both the holiday camps and the pre-season training sessions will need to be booked in advance, and this will be done through Teamtamer. Details of booking arrangements, with links to the relevant website pages, will be announced as soon as this is practicable.
Aside from these group activities, we provisionally plan that nets will be available for members from 5 April onwards, although times may be restricted and it may well be necessary to operate a booking system as we did last year, to ensure social distancing.
Subject to this being permitted under applicable regulations, it will also be possible to book 1:1 coaching sessions at the club from 5 April 2021 onwards. If you would like to book sessions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, although please note that all bookings must at this stage be treated as provisional.
Regular squad training sessions (from week commencing 19 April)
As previously announced, regular junior training sessions are scheduled to start in w/c 19 April 2021, with sessions times for the different squads spread throughout Tuesdays-Fridays at Blackheath and Grafham as set on the boys’ cricket and girls’ cricket pages of the website. We plan that these sessions will be run broadly in the same way as last summer, with everyone required to sign up for the sessions in advance via Teamtamer. Once again, the sessions will be run in accordance with applicable guidance then in force.
As regards the social side, we intend to do whatever we are allowed to do by way of running a bar on training evenings, as and when COVID regulations permit. We hope to have a bar open at Blackheath on Wednesday and Friday evenings and at Grafham on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, although we cannot guarantee that this will be possible. We also hope to have food available on Friday evenings at Blackheath and conceivably also on Thursday evenings at Grafham, although it is unlikely that this will be possible in the early part of the season.
Matches and other activities
Provisional junior fixtures for all squads have now been announced and will be finalised over the coming weeks. The first fixtures are due to take place over the weekend of 24/25 April, and as matters stand we have every expectation that they will be able to proceed as scheduled, although of course this cannot be guaranteed. We expect that matches will have to be run subject to social distancing protocols at least in the early part of the season, which may well be similar to those in place last year.
There are also plans for further holiday camps both at half term and during the summer holidays, by which time we hope that most or all COVID restrictions will have been lifted.
We will keep everyone informed about any changes in our plans as they develop - expect a further update in about 2 weeks' time. In the meantime, fingers firmly crossed that lockdown is in fact eased as expected ...