‘It’s for their safety’: Town’s football club welcomes back youngsters with new rules in place
PUBLISHED: 07:51 15 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:29 15 July 2020
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2016
‘No touching the ball and no matches’, is what players of a town’s football club were told as they returned to training sessions.
Members of Thetford Bulldogs football club were thrilled to be back on the pitch for the first time since lockdown over the weekend [Saturday, July 11].
But with safety restrictions in place, to keep youngsters and their coaches safe, the training sessions are now focused more on fitness rather than football.
Kirsty Turner, club secretary and manager for the Wildcats under 12s, under 16s and ladies, said despite feeling apprehensive, it was great to see her players again.
She said: “We worked really hard as a committee to follow guidance released by the FA, to keep everyone safe and on Saturday we had four of teams at the Charles Burrell Centre and two teams at Thetford Grammar School.
“Not all of teams could return because it is only one coach to five players.
“So, we were all quite apprehensive because it seemed strange not being able to kick a ball properly or have a match.
“But it was great to hear the children running around having fun. They were happy to be back.”
The changes include, a hand sanitising station and boys and girls under 14 are required to bring a parent to sign them in and out after every session.
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Players are not allowed to run with the football towards another player, they are not allowed to touch equipment and after every session the ball is dipped in disinfectant.
Ms Turner, who is also player for ladies’ team, said: “Parents have to sign children in and out so we can do a track and trace.
“This has meant a few children can’t come back because their parents can’t make it.
“But as coaches, we can’t do first aid or tie shoe laces because we can’t go near a child, so it’s for their safety and if something happens a parent is there for them.”
With more guidance set to be released in the coming weeks, Ms Turner hopes more players will be able to return.
The club is also on the lookout for a new coach and players for their under 7s and under 9s team and girls to join their under 16s.
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