Although no indoor table tennis is allowed currently, at Brighton Table Tennis Club (BTTC) we have decided to think about it ahead of time, even if changes for us are not imminent. Guidance refers to a staged approach and we need to have our own policy for stage two, which is ‘limited club activity.’ This must take account of activity with restrictions in place, connected to hygiene, social distancing and space available. It is also likely that one to one personal coaching will be able to return.
You will be able to register an interest in playing by putting your name on a list for when the club eventually reopens for ‘limited club activity’ by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be inviting people in stages according to individual circumstances. There will be no normal sessions at this point.
In keeping with the BTTC ethos, It is important for us to try and make it as enabling as possible in tone, rather than just a list of negative “ Thou shalt nots”. Therefore we want to make it sound more like a contract between willing partners, rather than a list of rules from above. But of course in this climate, there have to be some non-negotiables, so as a responsible and caring club, we have to be firm.
The principles and the contract below have already been scrutinised and approved by our Trustees and senior coaches.
In the interim, we have also published guidance on the use of the outdoor tables that Ping England and Brighton and Hove Council have established in partnership with the activity sessions that Brighton Table Tennis Club has devised for community use of them. This means that table tennis outside now under certain conditions, well timed for the extended recreation possibilities just announced. This guidance is published on our website and social media.
Players will be invited and will need to confirm slots in our online calendar. There will be no public advertisement; it has to be staged carefully.
We will focus on our players we know have been locked down or have been living on their own/ or perhaps in difficult circumstances as a priority.
We plan to have one or two tables in the back room and two in the main hall. This could be increased to 3, 4 and eventually 6 in the main hall over time. There will be barriers between tables where there is more than one table in the hall/room.
Sessions will be for one and a half hours. This will give players time to get to our club and prepare carefully before they play.
Coaches will be organised to be there playing and coaching. 1-1 coaching will gradually take place.
There will be full supervision of the activity, the use of space and the club building via a nominated key holder monitoring hygiene, safety and activity.
Limited office space for admin means that only one person at a time can work in there. Making a safe and happy club. A caring contract for us all at BTTC.
Equipment cannot be shared or passed from one person to another, other than table tennis balls, which must be cleaned and disinfected after each session as well as players hand washing thoroughly.
Two different colour balls should be used, so players need only to handle their own ball. Players should kick/hit the other players ball back with a racket.
Individual personally named bags are recommended which are brought in and taken away every session. No items from outside can be left at the club. Players should be encouraged to bring their own hand sanitisers for their personal use.
There is to be no contact playing or non-contact beyond two people, who must social distance at 2 metres at all times. Players must only train with the same person throughout any one session. Table tennis etiquette which requires contact ( shaking hands etc) must be suspended for the time being.
Players should use one side of the table and not swap ends.
There must be the minimum of a ten minute break when players using the same table are swapping over.
Players must wipe down their side of the table upon finishing their session.
Proper hand washing with soap ( or hand sanitiser as a second best) should occur before and after any activity at the club. The hand washing guidance posted in the club must be followed at all times.
No kitchen equipment, including cups, plates and cutlery from the club should be used. Members must bring their own drinks in personal containers which are brought in and taken away every session.
The tables and associated equipment must be wiped down thoroughly before and after every session. Door handles inside the club and entrances/exits also.
If anyone is showing coronavirus symptoms, or any of their household are self isolating, they must stay at home and not use our facilities.
We will introduce the concept of individual ‘bubbles’, especially for vulnerable players to understand, emphasising personal space for themselves and others. We want them to see themselves in a safe bubble where they see and move freely, but which could be ‘popped’ if they get too close to others. ( A visual guide/ poster is being devised ).
Notes for us to consider in the club facilities generally:
Clear all cups and kitchen equipment from kitchen surfaces so there is not a temptation to borrow.
Ensure that there is soap available in kitchen and toilets, and also cleaning products for cleansing equipment after each session.
We will consider any zoning that we will have to set up to operate safely.
This plan will be amended and adjusted to reflect national guidelines but will be used meanwhile to empower our members to think about their phased return to BTTC ahead of the next stage, and to give them a sense of hope.