Sinn Féin spokesperson on Sport, Chris Andrews TD, has today welcomed comments by Minister Chambers, who confirmed that amendments have been made to allow under-18 indoor games and competitions to go ahead.
But Teachta Andrews added that lessons must be learnt after a week of unnecessary pressure and stress on coaches and volunteers across the state.
Teactha Andrews said:
“I welcome the comments by Minister Chambers that amendments have been made to allow under-18 indoor games and competitions to go ahead.
“The past week was a period of unnecessary pressure and stress on coaches and volunteers across the state.
“While the change in guidelines impacted several indoor sports such as hockey and handball, it was felt particularly hard by basketball clubs across the island.
“We saw children being turned away from matches and several matches and competitions had to be put on hold.
“With basketball being played on an all-island basis, these new guidelines had a severe impact on clubs in the north of Ireland travelling south to compete.
“At present, those aged between 12 to 17 in the north of Ireland, are only being offered one dose of vaccine, which, under the guidelines issued last week, would have prevented them from being able to play in the south.
“Several questions have been raised as a result of this sudden change last week to rules on matches.
“What level of consultation is taking place between Sport NI and Sport Ireland on decisions that impact all-island sports?
“And, what level of consultation is taking place between Sport Ireland and sporting NGBs ahead of any change of guidance on matches/competitions.
“Lessons must be learnt. NGBs representing indoor sports must be given a place on the Return to Sport Expert Group.”