Since 9am on March 13th, all UCD Clubs and Society activities have been suspended in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sports activities have been suspended until at least April 19th, and with the rate of infections continuing to rise, it seems like sports in Belfield won’t return for a long time.
All sports clubs on campus are governed by the UCD Athletic Union Council (AUC). Executive Secretary and Sports Development Manager Suzanne Bailey sent us a statement as to what the AUC are doing to mitigate the current situation and plan for the future amid the current health crisis.
“While it is difficult for those who have trained, played, coached and administered to the best of their ability over the past academic year to comprehend that club activity is suspended,” Bailey stated, “the safety and well-being of the club members, coaches, opponents and public is of paramount importance at this time. Sports clubs, like all members of society, have a role to play in defeating the spread of this pandemic.”
Bailey said that all coaching staff employed by UCD clubs will have their contracts honoured and paid in full until the end of Trimester 2, “irrespective of whether activity resumes or not.”
The spokesperson also announced that “the AUC is actively planning for the resumption of club activity.” However, Bailey advised that “the resumption of activity is very much contingent on the government restrictions being lifted, the University facilities being open for business and the national governing bodies of the sports permitting the clubs to recommence activity.”
She also went on to explain that as many clubs operate through the summer months, any planned activities or competitions will resume as planned once the government restrictions are lifted. Wednesday night training during the summer months will also recommence once restrictions are lifted.
She continued by encouraging inter-club communication, saying “clubs have been advised to hold any discussions or meetings online and not face to face.”
“Plans are already at an advanced stage for Semester 1 2020/21 in terms of normal AUC and club operations,” explained Bailey, going on to hint at the publication of the AUC’s new strategic plan shortly.
It remains unclear as to when sports activities will return to Belfield, yet the AUC have made it loud and clear that when government restrictions are lifted, students will be back playing for UCD Clubs in no time at all.
Conor Capplis – Editor