Firstly, happy new year to all the Panthers family! Here's hoping things get back to normal very soon.
Members of the committee have been involved in further conversations on the Tier 4 restrictions, and communications from Cheltenham Youth Football League.
In summary the message is that youth football will continue as pre-arranged. The league have made some fixture changes to avoid Tier 3 teams playing in Tier 4 areas (and vice-versa), but otherwise, games and training sessions will remain as per schedule.
However, if a player or family are not comfortable in taking part in training or games at the current time, that is completely understood and respected.
Please have the confidence to speak to the coach of your child's team if that is the case.
No team will be penalised for breaking a league fixture if games need to be postponed.
No child will be left out of future games/sessions if they do not attend any in the short term.
Coaches - If you do not have enough players to fulfil a fixture then please speak to Ben or I, who will converse with the league.
Further FA and Government guidelines suggest that "non-essential" parents are classed as spectators, and that spectators are not allowed to attend games/training. I have challenged this with the league as it seems unrealistic, especially for our younger age groups.
The league have stated that in their view, a parent is necessary for the welfare and shared responsibility at games and training. The view is that parents fall under the allowed remit of "necessary spectators".
That said, we would ask that parental attendance at games/training is minimised as much as possible, and that guidelines on social distancing are adhered to at all times.
We are still awaiting updates from some of the training facilities on those being open. With adult football being suspended, they are weighing up the costs of opening just for youth. Coaches will keep their relevant teams informed.
Please speak out if you have any concerns. Stay safe.
Churchdown Panthers Albion are an Under 15's football team in Gloucestershire, whose season has been suspended due to the COVID19 crisis......so this challenge keeps the team fit, and raises ££'s for our local hospice, all whilst wearing the famous orange kit of the Panthers!!
Boys (and maybe some parents/siblings) and their coaches (!) to complete the 2.6 mile run, and hopefully their parents/friends/family will make a donation to spur them on!!
Sue Ryder supports people through the most difficult times of their lives. Whether that’s a terminal illness, the loss of a loved one or a neurological condition – they’re there when it matters. Their doctors, nurses and carers give people the compassion and expert care they need to help them live the best life they possibly can.
Can I start by wishing you are all safe and well, staying at home and looking out for one another in these unprecedented times. We are sure to have some tough times for a little while yet.
The FA, leagues and our football club have been as pro-active as possible in mitigating against the risk of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. That is not just focussed on the well being and safeguarding of our players, but for you as parents, supporters, coaches and against the risk of spread to those most vulnerable in our community.
The latest update, is that the 2019-20 season has now officially closed. Any remaining league and cup games have been cancelled. This has been a very tough decision and disappointing for all, not least those who may have been in with a chance of silverware this season.
Unfortunately, at the grass roots level, we do not have the options of the top tiers of football to restart in a few months’ time. Our facilities move over to other activities (e.g. cricket), the councils remove posts, clubs will host tournaments, and most importantly you will be hoping to take the children away on a well-deserved summer break (fingers crossed!).
As a club, we have also reached a decision to postpone this seasons presentation night. Again, this was not an easy decision, as for many of us, this is the highlight of the season. The close of the season, and postponement of presentation night, will certainly be disappointing for those teams who may be in their last season. It is fully my intention to have a 2019-20 presentation night, but that may not be until the new season has started.
While the date of the presentation night in mid-June seems a little way off, the preparation and the logistics would start now. For example, coaches would need to be collecting trophies from last season winners, but we currently don’t have any timelines of when we may be able to start that level of social interaction. When all other logistics are taken into account, such as the supply chain for the trophies, the timelines are already at risk.
However, the over-riding consideration is health and well-being. For presentation night, we have between 500 and 600 attendees. It is likely that government guidelines will not have relaxed enough by June for us to hold a gathering of this size, but quite frankly I would not want to risk peoples health in any case.
Therefore, it is felt that the postponement is the right thing to do.
Myself, the management committee and all of our coaches would like to thank-you for your support over this last season. We would not have football if you did not support by taxying your children to games/training, helping out with putting the nets up, collecting subs etc. It is all very much appreciated.
Here's hoping that this unprecedented situation we find ourselves in, is resolved as quick as possible. I wish you all good health.