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England Hockey announce suspension to league season due to national lockdown

Bourne Deeping Hockey Club's season has been put on hold due to the pending national lockdown.

England Hockey - the sport's governing body - confirmed that following Saturday's announcement by the Prime Minster there would be no club or community hockey from November 5 until after December 4 at the earliest.

Their statement said: "The latest Government announcement orders all sports facilities to close and therefore club and other community hockey activity is suspended until the game is in a position to resume.

Bourne Deeping Ladies 3rds were 2-1 winners against their Spalding counterparts on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (42938710)
Bourne Deeping Ladies 3rds were 2-1 winners against their Spalding counterparts on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (42938710)

"Over the last few months all those involved in delivering hockey safely have helped to prove that the sport is extremely low risk in terms of the transmission of Covid and this gives us confidence that we can be back soon.

"We are very grateful to all the Covid officers, volunteers, players, coaches and officials that went the extra mile to provide a safe place for hockey to be played.

"At England Hockey we continue to receive overwhelming feedback from participants that the physical and mental health benefits of being able to take part are significant.

"We recognise that the next few weeks will be challenging for those like us that love the game and will miss the opportunity to be out playing, coaching and officiating with friends.

"The Government announcement made reference to returning to the Covid Alert Levels after the end of this period of lockdown and, should that be the case, we are confident that clubs will be able to resume promptly in line with our previously-issued Return to Play guidance.

"If it becomes clearer in time that the lockdown will end on December 4, we encourage clubs to consider resuming some activity before Christmas if at all possible.

"To mitigate the risk of changes and with the uncertainty about what level the club may be in at the end of this period, we recommend that the time until Christmas is used for training and very local matches.

"The aim of this is to ensure that activities fall in line with any level-based restrictions that may be in place.

"It will take time to determine the best approach to reorganising activity and we ask that players and clubs respect the need for organisers to consider the next steps properly in light of the timing and extent of the upcoming break.

"England Hockey will communicate with all clubs, England Hockey League teams and EH Championships entrants as well as Player Pathway organisers in the coming days."

Bourne Deeping have eight teams - five men's and three ladies - which play in the East League who said they would continue to work closely with clubs.

A league statement said: "England Hockey have announced that all league hockey shall be suspended until December 4 at the earliest.

"The East League management have immediately got worries about availability of pitch facilities that are not owned by clubs being available before Christmas and we will work with all parties to ensure as easier path back to play as possible."

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