Upton VH Tennis Club Wirral - UVH LTC COVID19 Risk Assessment

Please familiarise  yourself with our COVID 19 Risk Assessment & LTA  guidelines, below to reduce the risks of spreading the Corona Virus, before booking a tennis court at Upton Victory Hall LTC.

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Upton Victory Hall Lawn Tennis Club  - Page updated 29th July 2020

COVID-19 Revised Restart Risk Assessment - Record of significant findings

 

Risk assessment for :                                      Assessment undertaken by :

Upton Victory Hall Lawn Tennis Club                 Original date: 15th May 2020

Rake Lane, Upton                                              Revised date 27th July 2020 (v9)

Wirral, CH49 0US                                               Completed by: UVHLTC Committee

                                                                 Signature on behalf of Committee:                

 

Step 1 - Identify COVID-19 risks

Sources of infection

1. Inhalation

2. Physical contact from :

  • surfaces such as handles, gates and locks, net winders, benches, picnic tables
  • tennis equipment including balls and rackets
  • from people, such as by shaking hands, high fives etc

 

 Step 2 - Identify people at risk  

Members of (including the coach), employees of, and visitors to Upton Victory Hall Lawn Tennis Club

 

Step 3 - Evaluate, remove, reduce and protect from risk

What is the risk?

Risk of contracting coronavirus either by inhalation or contact.  The risk of contracting by inhalation can be reduced by observing social distancing guidelines at all times, and the risk of contracting by contact can be reduced by minimising the surfaces which need to be touched.

 

Who is at risk?

      Those listed in Step 2 above

 

Recommendations to minimise the risk

All club attendees are reminded that undertaking any activity, including tennis, has the potential for increased risk of transmission of COVID-19, and it is recommended that all attendees read the Government's guidance on staying safe outside your home.

Subject to any further guidance from the LTA, the following recommendations are made :

    1. No visitors will be allowed on site, with the exceptions :

    a)     one parent may be present during a coaching session of one of their children;

    b)    a parent of a mini or a junior may play with their child member, subject to a limitation of one hour a week’s play for any child member in these circumstances;

    c)     prospective new members may attend the club with a committee member, by prior arrangement;

    d)    members may now bring a guest, subject to the usual rules and payment of the usual guest fee.

    2.     Supporters, parents, and other spectators should remain socially distanced whilst attending events.  Spectator groups must be restricted to discrete six person gathering limits and spread out, in line with wider government guidance.

    1. The three lower astro courts are open (but see para 8 below), together with the top astro court and the practice wall.  The four grass courts are also open from 1st July (again see para 7 below).  In all cases, access is via the Rake Lane keypad only.
    2. Juniors will be allowed to use the top astro court only if playing with at least one adult.  This includes coaching on the top court.  In these circumstances, any juniors playing on the top court must be met in the lower car park by the adult or one of the adults with whom they are playing, and that adult will escort the junior to and from the upper court via the lower gate near the bowling green.
    3. When an adult escorts a junior to and from the top astro court, it will be the responsibility of the adult to ensure that social distancing and hygiene requirements with regard to the wiping of surfaces are met at all times.
    4. Where a parent is watching their child junior being coached on the top astro court, the parent must watch by standing in a corner of the court.  It is recognised that this is far from ideal, but is deemed preferable to the parent standing outside the court as this would be in the pathway of croquet players, and this would present difficulties in observing social distancing rules.
    5. Whilst the upper astro court and the grass courts are now available for booking, the committee recognises that there are access difficulties in practice.  Access must be through the gate by the bowling green, but not all members have a key to that gate.  There are difficulties in providing keys to members at the present time.  Members should therefore for the time being only book the upper astro court or one of the grass courts if they have a key to the gate by the bowling green.
    6. In order to minimise the risk to Harry the groundsman, Harry will have exclusive use of the grounds for a period of 2 hours from 8am to 10am every Tuesday.  Members will not be allowed on site during this time.  This will enable Harry to maintain the bottom courts, and the grounds in the vicinity of the bottom courts. Harry will also have exclusive access to the grass courts every Tuesday until 1pm, and every Friday from midday to 4pm.
    7. The clubhouse will remain closed save for any exceptions identified within this risk assessment.  Members will note that there is no running water outside.   In the exceptional case that a member or parent needs to use the toilet facilities and can gain access to the clubhouse, access is permitted solely for use of the toilet facilities.  Only one person is allowed in the clubhouse at any time.
    8. Only the disabled toilet is to be used.  Members/parents must:
      • clean the toilet after use.  Cleaning materials are provided; 
      • flush the toilet with the lid down;
      • wash their hands after using the toilet;
      • NOT use the electric hand-drier;
      • instead use the kitchen roll provided and must take with them used kitchen roll for disposal;
      • wipe all surfaces touched before leaving the clubhouse, including the toilet flush handle, door handles, light switches etc.
    1. Where a keyholder allows another member access to the clubhouse to use the toilet facilities, the keyholder should ask the member to confirm that all surfaces touched have been wiped and that the toilet has been cleaned, and that used kitchen roll has been removed.
    2. Doubles play is permitted by the LTA from 1st June 2020, with members from different households able to play with and against each other.  Doubles is now permitted on all courts.
    3. Recreational competitions (including club nights) , approved LTA competitions, and inter-club friendly matches are permitted as long as social distancing guidelines are adhered to. 
    4. Saturday social tennis will resume from August 1st.  The clubhouse will be open for the use of toilets only, but teas will not be provided.  The committee member on duty will keep a record of everyone attending in order to comply with the requirements of NHS Test & Trace.
    5. Coaching is permitted, with up to 6 adult players at any one time (including the coach) or with 15 children in addition to the coach.  There should never be more than 12 players (including the coach) on any one court at any time, in order to ensure that social distancing can be maintained at all times.  The clubhouse will be available to coaches.  The detail of risks associated with coaching are outside the scope of this risk assessment.
    6. There is a court booking system, details of which have been communicated separately to members.
    7. Each booking to be for no more than 2 hours.
    8. All courts are available for booking simultaneously, subject to any restrictions as a result of those times when Harry has exclusive access.
    9. When changing ends between games, opposing players or pairs of players must use opposite ends of the net in order to avoid passing.  Alternatively, players may choose to not change ends.
    10. Players must wipe the main lock to the grounds, and the locks to any gates used, before and after entry and after exit.
    11. The nets to the astro courts will be left up and the winders removed by Harry.  Harry will check the height of the nets at least once a week.  The nets to the grass courts cannot be left under tension.  Members must therefore adjust the height of the grass court nets before play and release the tension in the nets after play, and must wipe the net handle both before and after use.
    12. Players are no longer required to leave a buffer period between booking slots.
    13. Players must close the main gate on entry (and obviously on exit), and must never leave the gate open even if other members are playing.  When the side gate is used to or from the top astro court and no bowlers are playing, tennis players must close this gate after both entry and exit.
    14. The club has dispensed with the padlocks to the lower courts to minimise physical contact (the main gate will be locked anyway).  The seized lock on the far entrance has been removed by Harry to allow access through both gates.
    15. Players should carry either their own hand sanitiser/alcohol gel or have water and soap with them.
    16. Members shall be responsible for bringing their own first-aid kit with them, as the club’s first-aid kit is inaccessible being located in the clubhouse which will remain locked until further notice.
    17. Players must not share rackets.
    18. Players no longer need to bring their own marked tennis balls.  When sharing balls however, players should sanitise their hands before and after play.  Players should not touch balls from play on another court, and should return such balls with a foot or with a racket. 
    19. There must be no undue delay socialising between games, or before or after the match, and members must stay on site no longer than absolutely necessary in order to play their match.  Anyone attending the club, whether playing or not, should limit their interactions with anyone outside of the group they are attending the venue with (e.g. players on another court or in a different coaching group), and they should continue to maintain social distancing from those that they do not live with or are in a support bubble.
    20. Members are reminded that the 2 metre social distancing rule must be observed at all times.  For doubles, players should agree in advance which player should take the shot if the ball goes down the middle of the court.  Members will note that although the Government relaxed its guidance on social distancing from 2 metres to “1 metre +” from 4th July, members must continue to follow the 2 metre social distancing rule.
    21. Juniors under 13 must be accompanied by an adult (per court).  At the discretion of the tennis club committee, two juniors aged 13 or over will be allowed to play together without an adult present.  A junior may also play with an adult member from another household.  In any of these circumstances, the court must be booked through Jan Pickin and a parent of each junior must give prior consent to Jan to their child junior member playing with a specific other child junior member.  Where a junior is to play with an adult from another household, a parent of the junior must make the booking through Jan Pickin and must advise Jan of the proposed playing arrangements.
    22. The Club Rules provide that juniors shall have preferential access to the top astro court.  This is not possible at the moment,  In the event that juniors wish to book a court at a time when the three lower courts are all booked, then Jan Pickin shall reallocate one of the prior bookings on the lower courts to the upper astro court, and book that lower court for those juniors.
    23. Benches and picnic tables should not be used as they will not be cleaned.
    24. Members with keys to the clubhouse will be advised that no-one has access unless authorised by Harry Henderson, with consent requested via Sandie Craze or Mike Fryer, with the exception of using the toilet facilites as indicated above.
    25. Anyone unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss of or change to their sense of smell or taste) must not visit the club, and must avoid the club for a minimum of 14 days from the onset of symptoms in accordance with the Government’s advice to self-isolate.
    26. Anyone who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and/or with someone who has been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test & Trace, must not visit the club, and must avoid the club for a minimum of 14 days from their last contact with the person who has tested positive, in accordance with the Government’s advice to self-isolate.
    27. To support NHS Test and Trace, the club must keep a temporary record of all those on site for 21 days, in a way that is manageable, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. The booking system only provides a partial record, and it is therefore the responsibility of each person making a booking to ensure that they keep a record for 21 days of who played during each booking.
    28. Please note that these guidelines are not exhaustive. The LTA have issued more detailed guidance, and their guidance must also be followed at all times.  Their guidance note produced on 21st July 2020 has a link (url) below.

     


Other matters considered

A  Having a tennis committee member present during opening hours

This is deemed not necessary as the main door is accessed with a key code and members will be booking courts. Also with a booking system, the hours do not need to be too restricted.  Supervision by committee members over longer hours would be impractical.

Fortunately the astroturf courts are a self contained section of the UVH site and by keeping the clubhouse closed and the gate to the greens locked the risk to the groundsman is reduced.

 

B Leaving the first-aid kit in an accessible location in the vicinity of the tennis courts

It is considered that this will not be secure as the first-aid kit would not be fixed in place.  Furthermore, the committee is endeavouring to minimise transmission by contact.  A first-aid kit would need to be periodically checked and topped up, and this would present an unnecessary and avoidable contact risk.  Additionally, there would be an expectation by members that any kit provided by the club would be adequately stocked, which may not be the case at the present time.  It was therefore considered preferable for members to be responsible for providing their own first-aid equipment until the clubhouse reopens.

 

C  Delaying the re-opening of the tennis club

The committee is mindful of the fact that the re-opening of tennis facilities does not come without risk.  Everything we do in life carries some form of risk.  We have considered the guidance given by the Government in its May 2020 document “OUR PLAN TO REBUILD: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy”, which states “A 'zero risk' approach will not work in these unprecedented times. The Government will have to invest in experimental technologies, some of which are likely not to work as intended, or even prove worthless. But waiting for complete certainty is not an option”.  We are also mindful of the fact that the LTA, who take their advice from the Government, who in turn are guided by the science, advise that play can resume albeit on a restricted basis.


Most, if not all, of the other tennis clubs on Wirral have now re-opened.  There is therefore no reason to delay the re-opening of the club once we are satisfied, as we are, that we are able to follow the LTA’s recommendations. 


It is further recommended that the following pictorial guide produced by the LTA is printed and laminated, and is placed at the entrances to the courts.  Finally, the LTA’s more detailed guidelines are reproduced below for completeness.

 

LTA Latest Advice

https://www.lta.org.uk/about-us/tennis-news/news-and-opinion/general-news/2020/march/coronavirus-covid-19---latest-advice/

Guidance for Tennis Players in England COVID-19:

RETURN TO MANAGED PLAY Version 3 – Published 1 July 2020

https://www.lta.org.uk/globalassets/news/2020/lta-guidance-for-tennis-players---covid-19.pdf

 

 
Page updated 29th July 2020