As Ireland enters its third phase of the gradual exit from lockdown, sports are resuming at UCD after a lengthy hiatus. UCD Sports Development Manager & Athletic Union Council (AUC) Executive Secretary, Suzanne Bailey, made a statement to The College Tribune stating that plans are in progress for the resumption of activity, but any plans will depend on several outside factors.

“At present, the Athletic Union Council is actively planning with clubs for the resumption of club activity. However, the resumption of activity is very much contingent on the government road map, the University facilities being open for business, and the return to play protocols of the respective national governing bodies of the sports being published,” Bailey said exclusively to The College Tribune. “Furthermore, before UCD clubs are permitted to recommence activity they are required to complete a revised risk assessment outlining how they will implement the return to play protocols of their sport in a UCD context. This risk assessment must be approved by the University.”

Bailey noted that many clubs in UCD are active year-round, with training and competitions continuing for some clubs throughout the summer. In this case, clubs that usually continue during the summer will likely return as soon as the necessary facilities are open, and upon completion and approval of their revised risk assessment.

“For those clubs engaged in regional and national competitions which usually go through the summer months, their activities will resume as soon as the aforementioned criteria are met. Other clubs may not resume activity until Semester 1, which would be in line with their normal operations.” She continued, “A number of other clubs would normally continue to train during the summer months, with Wednesday nights designated as club training nights. It is anticipated that these clubs will recommence training at UCD once they fulfil the criteria and the sports facilities reopen.”

According to Bailey’s statement, as of July 1st, the Boat Clubs and Swimming Club have returned to activity, with the Athletics Club and Soccer Club due to follow “in the next week to 10 days”. She added that the Rugby Club plans to resume by the end of July, noting that “the competitive schedule in many sports has been altered significantly by their respective national governing body.”

She ended her statement by mentioning that “as is the norm, the AUC and Sports Facilities Management will work together to try to accommodate as many club requests for access to facilities, once activity is permitted to recommence.”

Isobel Dunne – Reporter