Despite widespread easing of restrictions through a move to Level 2 of the government’s lockdown exit strategy, all forms of badminton are still not permitted to take place due to the indoor, high-intensity nature of the sport.
Level 2 guidelines released by Jersey Sport, in co-ordination with the Government of Jersey, state that ‘indoor sport or recreational facilities can open for low and moderate intensity sport and physical activity only’ – although Jersey Badminton Association president Steve Le Roy says they are seeking a resolution.
‘We are hoping to resume full play once we move to Level 1 of the exit strategy,’ he explained. ‘In the meantime we are trying to get clearance to run some training sessions whereby a coach will be stationary to prevent breaking of the distancing rule.
‘This will allow players some normality and give them time to get back up to standard before we can start full play again.’
Le Roy admitted that resuming competition was not a priority and the association just want to get numbers up and people back on court. Continued concerns over player numbers follow what was set to be a cancelled 2020 inter-insular due to a lack of available players – and a 30-0 whitewash defeat to Guernsey in 2019.
‘A lot of younger players challenge themselves by playing in tournaments across the UK, this helps keep them relevant and up to standard,’ Le Roy said: ‘Unfortunately due to travel restrictions this will be impossible for the foreseeable future.’
Despite the lack of activity, Le Roy says the JBA is stable due to low maintenance costs at the New Gilson Hall, and he hopes to see everyone playing soon.
‘Once operational it will be great to welcome players both old and new,’ he added. ‘We hope to run various open days when back to normal to encourage new faces to join the local badminton community.’