The Government has agreed that non-contact training can continue for school-aged children, outdoors in pods of 15. This is outside of the existing provision of Level 5.

• The concession relates to sports involving the ongoing regular training of groups of young people.
• It relates only to non-contact training activities in which you can comfortably maintain a 2-metre distance from others while participating i.e. team or group-based practice within your community practicing drills, skills etc, without physical contact between participants;
• Applies to school-age children (i.e. aged 18 years and under) operating in pods of 15 and outdoors.
• Excludes the use of any indoor facilities, club houses, changing rooms (or any related “touch” points) which should be closed.
• Training sessions must not exceed the duration time normally associated with the activity.

The training must be supervised by a coach or a trainer accredited by the National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs). The National Governing Bodies will have responsibility for approving the training activities to be undertaken. Sport Ireland is available to provide guidance to NGBs where required.

One parent or guardian per child may attend where it is considered necessary for safeguarding or supervisory purposes.

There is already detailed guidance as regards measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in sports from children and young people including in respect of going to and coming from the event; personal hygiene measures; social distancing measures; and cleaning and disinfection measures. National Governing Bodies must give an assurance that these protective measures will be strictly adhered to and that they have the resources locally to ensure that they are enforced rigorously, as part of their submission. This must include managing congregation of parents, children and young people on side lines before, during, and after training.

Clubs/National Governing Bodies should review their existing protocols and guidance to ensure that they are suitable for Level 5 restrictions.

Any club or group that is not in a position to apply these measures or enforce them should not hold training sessions.

Any local club or group found to be in breach of these measures will result in the club being excluded from the exemption.

This continues to be on an opt-in basis for participants.

Government made this decision based on the feedback received from children and young people in which they emphasised the importance of friends and social aspects of their lives. More than a third of young people missed their friends. In terms of positives which they wanted to bring forward from the COVID crisis, around a quarter of young people were keen to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

It is not possible to allow all activities which meet the needs of every young person while trying to reduce congregation overall in society. However, it is intended that this measure along with school provision and the provision of youth work services funded by DCEDIY will provide protective factors for a great many young people. ”