The GAA is hopeful of a return to training at adult club level next month
THE GAA is hopeful of a return to training at adult club level next month, as the Association prepares to unveil their fixture schedule for 2021 this week.
At present, only intercounty and juvenile club teams can return to training this month from April 19 and April 26 respectively, following the latest roadmap from the government.
However, in the GAAs Club Newsletter for April, they say they are hopeful that all club training can get the green light for a return next month.
The Club newsletter states: "In the coming weeks activity will return to GAA pitches all over the country.
"They are but the first tentative steps in Ireland’s easing of restrictions north and south, and they are dependent on virus numbers being manageable, but for the first time in a long time, there is hope again.
"Inter-county training will be allowed to resume north and south from April 19.
"A revised fixture schedule for the GAA season with inter-county competitions followed by a clear slot for club championship will be released on the weekend of April 9.
"In the 26 Counties juvenile training in non-contact pods will be allowed from April 26. There is no fixed date on when adult club training can resume but it is hoped that this might follow soon after some time in May if Government permits.
"In the Six Counties, club training will resume from April 12.
"In advance of all of this activity there will be advice issued on how clubs can reopen and host players safely.
"However, vigilance remains absolutely vital. So too, does compliance with public health guidance.
"Breaches at club and county level in recent weeks have brought the spotlight on our Association and
threaten to undermine the significant work done by the majority of members in the face of the Pandemic.
"As the Uachtarán and Ard Stiúrthóir wrote in their letter to clubs on March 30: “These are hugely welcome developments and allow us finally to begin planning on-field activity for the remainder of 2021.
"However, it should also be noted that these dates are conditional and will very much depend on what happens in terms of the overall Covid-19 picture in the coming weeks.
"For that reason, it is more important than ever that no collective training sessions are held between now and the Government indicated return dates.
"Breaches in this context will not only be dealt with under our own Rules but would likely put the broader plan to return to activity in serious jeopardy.”
"Seeing our clubs with their gates open and people playing, and especially young people back out in the open air with their friends will be worth the wait.
"The end is hopefully in sight. Please hold firm."