Army Hopeful Sport Can Return 'As Early As Next Week'

Major General Shaun Burley spoke to Forces News about the difficulties of sport returning to British Army.

The Army Sport Control Board (ASCB) says it is "hoping" that some sport within the service will be able to resume "as early as next week".

Sport across the UK Armed Forces was put on hold during the coronavirus outbreak in March.

Last week, the Army gave the green light for angling, golf, archery, equitation and surfing to all return.

ASCB director Major General Shaun Burley spoke to Forces News about the difficulties facing the return of Army sport.

"We put out guidance about what risk assessments have got to be done for each event," he said.

He added: "It’s quite a complicated piece but we are hoping that we can start to get those sports going again as early as next week."

With the return of sport on the horizon, talk of Inter Services competitions returning has ramped up but Maj Gen Burley said that is a while off.

"We are not starting Inter Services yet," he said.

"It will be very limited Army level at the moment. What we're really doing is kick-starting the Corps and Regional level.

"The Army has imposed upon us the fact that we can’t have overnight activity. We can only do a single day event. They are also very clear that travelling is a real key issue.

Maj Gen Burley said the ASCB is looking at restarting Army sailing.

"You can’t do car share. You can’t put a whole lot of people into the back of a mini-bus and drive them in.

"You’ve got to maintain social distancing and you have to minimise the risk of viral spread.

"Most of our sports facilities are clubhouses, changing rooms and all the rest of it, are still shut.

"You’ve got the complicating factor of people having to arrive changed and depart still in their kit to go back for a shower.

"We are lifting the brakes off and getting some sport done, but there are still some very harsh measures that have to be imposed to make sure we are maintaining social distancing and safety."

Maj Gen Burley also said the ASCB is "putting together a case" for other sports to return such as some sailing disciplines, motorsport and cricket.