The pandemic has changed sport as we know it. The majority of professional and amateur activities were temporarily shut down by lockdown restrictions in mid-March, with gyms also closed and outdoor exercise limited to one hour per day.
Easing measures since has seen the likes of Premier League football return, while people have been allowed to exercise with groups of up to six from other households if maintaining a two-metre distance. Yet other contact sports have remained off the table – with no concrete return date set for amateur rugby leagues, for example.
It’s natural to want to get back to action if sport played a big part in your life, but it’s important to check your financial situation before committing to a hobby again. You’ll also of course need to make sure you stay safe – so what are some of the sporting activities you can partake in under current government guidance?
Golf has in fact long been permitted due to the natural ease of maintaining social distance and unlikeliness of sharing equipment. Staggered tee times, clubhouse closures and sanitising flags are all measures that have been simple to introduce.
If you’re new to golf but fancy getting started, bear in mind it’s not the cheapest of pursuits!
Tennis is another sport that’s relatively easy to play competitively while maintaining a more than adequate distance from your opponent. Many courts reopened in mid-May, though you’re advised to partner with someone from your own household if playing doubles.
Sharing racquets is also advised against, and it’s best to avoid touching your face after handling the ball itself.
Amateur cricket matches were permitted to resume from July 11th, though only after initial concern over transmitting the virus through sweat or saliva on the ball. Sharing bats and protective equipment is again advised against, while clubhouses are likely to be open in a reduced capacity.
Outdoor pools were also permitted to reopen from July 11th, with indoor pools following on July 25th. It’s up to your local leisure centre when they actually open and in what capacity, with possible safety measures including double-width lanes and requests for visitors to arrive in swimwear.
Wild swimming could be the perfect pursuit if you live close to the coast or a natural beauty spot.
Fishing is another pastime that’s easily enjoyed solo or at a safe distance from your fellow anglers. Some dedicated areas sell day tickets to those wishing to pitch up for several hours, so you may want to book ahead to avoid disappointment at a popular spot.
Even with a steep initial learning curve, fishing can be a great way to clear your head in the current circumstances.
Surfing and basketball are among the other activities currently permitted. Which sport have you missed the most?