by Vlad Ionasc
On the 2nd of October, BUCS confirmed that Higher Education is exempt from the newly imposed ‘rule of six’ social distancing restriction affecting non-indoor non-elite sports. Following the announcement made by BUCS, we are now feeling optimistic about the BUCS season restarting as planned, in January.
BUCS statement in full: “We are delighted to announce that following discussions with colleagues at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP) and Sport England, indoor sports for students across Higher Education in England are exempt from the ‘Rule of 6’ with the specific clarifications outlined below…
“We lobbied specifically on the issue of student wellbeing, both physical and mental, and see this as a significant boost to those students who may be living under numerous restrictions. This will enable students to maintain social contact whilst remaining active which will have a positive impact on their wellbeing.”
The National League is still postponed following the ‘rule of six’ being applied to non-elite leagues. Unfortunately, Division 2 – in which Chester Men’s Basketball Team competes in – is just one tier below ‘elite’. It’s not all negative news though, Basketball England are in discussions with DCMS and they hope to review the situation in November.
Head coach Chris Leonard is delighted with the prospect of competitive basketball returning in the new year; however, he insists that with no competitions currently being played, the team is still following ‘Chester Rules’ whilst getting ready for the new season.
Leonard said: “After so much time and uncertainty, I’m looking at it as a blessing just to get back on the court and play basketball. If, for now, that doesn’t include competitive or full team games, then we’ll make the best of it and work hard to be ready whenever the time comes. But we are a University of Chester team and the health and safety of our players is top priority, so we will follow the ‘Chester Rules’.”
Club captain Max Jones added: “We are all thrilled at the club to hear the announcement of the BUCS season going ahead come January. All of our guys have been working hard throughout the epidemic and have been making sure they were ready for any eventualities and challenges thrown their way. We welcome the new season with open arms as I’m sure everyone else will, and we are ready for the real work to begin!”
Last week, we hosted a couple of successful taster sessions which allowed us to pick up some talented players for the first team. We look forward to announcing our new recruits very soon.