Longford ladies football clubs return to training after sixteen weeks in lockdown

Seamus McGuire

Reporter:

Seamus McGuire

Email:

pro.longford@lgfa.ie

Longford ladies football clubs return to training after sixteen weeks in lockdown

Longford ladies football clubs return to training after sixteen weeks in lockdown

We are now into week sixteen since the decision by the Ladies Gaelic Football Association along with the GAA and An Cumann Camogaiochta to suspend all activity at club, inter-county and educational levels.

The good news however for all LGFA members and supporters is following the acceleration of the governments road map for easing Covid-19 restrictions all club football pitches are now open and contact training and challenge games are now permitted as and from Monday last, June 29.

Also read: Mercy Ballymahon girls seek support for petition to encourage LGFA to complete All-Ireland series

So after sixteen weeks of no outdoor activity or football training our lady footballers can at last get back to their club settings and finally prepare for upcoming football competitions. This announcement now gives all clubs in Longford time to prepare for Junior, Intermediate and senior adult championship competitions and some underage competitions which will hopefully commence in Longford from early August onwards.

As we return to the field of play each player, manager and club committee members must continue to educate themselves on the ‘Guidelines for a Safe Return to Gaelic Games’ document and the ‘Covid Club Education Programme’. These documents contain information on the roles and responsibilities of players, team personnel, parents/guardians and club committee members. It is of vital importance as we all return to the football field that we continue to bear in mind all rules in relation to the safety of ourselves and the people who are around us in relation to Covid-19.

The Covid supervisor is the main point of contact for each team within your club and the person who must ensure guidelines from the HSE and Croke Park are followed. Before attending training everyone should complete and submit the health questionnaire which can be done through an online portal. You must also reconfirm your clean bill of health before each training session and it is each girl's/parents responsibility to inform the Covid supervisor if any of those circumstances have changed.

During training clubs are encouraged to minimise the use of cones, poles and bibs. Dressing rooms will remain closed but each club should ensure limited toilets will be open. All girls must sanitise their hands before and after sessions and mentors must wear a mask and gloves when dealing with an injury. Clubs should make it clear to every club member that if you are not comfortable, compromised yourself or have someone at home that’s compromised, don’t do it. Don’t feel you have to train or have to play this year. If you do feel that you have any of the known symptoms of Coronavirus the advice is, do not participate in group/club training take action by self-isolating and contact your GP. Remember Stay Safe. 

Guidelines for Match Officials
As we prepare for the safe return to play of all players and club officials so too has our match officials to prepare and educate themselves with the new Covid-19 guidelines.

First each county must appoint a Covid Supervisor who will carry out functions of monitoring the compliance with the protocols for the safe return to play for each match official in the county.

In order to be eligible to officiate at any game in the county each match official must complete the following;

1. The Education eLearning Module must be completed and provide proof to the county referee Covid Supervisor.
2. Complete the Health Questionnaire for return to games.
3. Have a good knowledge of the Referee guidelines.

Until these steps are taken by each referee they will not be included on the list for available Referees to officiate at LGFA games in Longford. To access Covid-19 related supports and resources log into  www.ladiesgaelic.ie or for more information contact Longford LGFA Secretary at secretary.longford@lgfa.ie

Longford Ladies Facebook
We have now finished introducing on Longford Ladies Facebook page members of Longford senior, Minor, U16, U14 panels and the manager of each panel.

This exercise proved to be a very popular one and during the early months of Covid-19 we got to know each member of each panel by profile and picture. Thanks to each girl and each manager for sharing their information with us. We wish each girl good luck in upcoming club competitions and look forward to seeing each one play with their clubs.

A special word of thanks to Enda Sheridan, Charlene Oates, Sharon Rabbitt and Danielle McLoughlin for their help and assistance to the Longford LGFA PRO in preparing each profile. 

LGFA Injury Fund Changes
A reminder to all  Longford LGFA club footballers and members that in line with the latest changes to the ‘Return to Activity Guidelines’ the Injury Fund is now active for all adult and underage players for training sessions and official club challenge matches with effect from July 29 and official club fixtures from July 17 in line with the road map.

Should a member receive an injury during a club challenge match or official fixture after these dates, a copy of the referee’s report and team sheet must be submitted with the preliminary claim form to Longford LGFA secretary in order for your claim to move on to the next step.

At present, the guidelines in place state that county activity cannot resume until September 14, therefore no Injury Fund cover is in place for this activity until this time. Please note that no claim will be opened without the required documentation noted above. 

LGFA Webinars
Important webinars for all LGFA club officials, members and players are taking place online over the coming weeks. It is important that everyone makes themselves familiar with the schedule of these webinars and if a topic applies to your role within the club you are encouraged to book a place on that webinar. Below is a list of upcoming online topics.

Topic: ‘Annual Referee Refresher Course’ aimed at all existing LGFA referees and must be completed annually, webinar takes place on July 1, July 7 and July 10 at 7pm.
Topic: ‘Coaching the Tackle’, webinar takes place on July 6 at 7pm.
Topic: ‘Planning for the Future’ webinar takes place on July 8 at 7pm.
Topic: ‘Coaching the Teenage Player’ takes place on July 20 at 7pm.
Topic: ‘Linesperson Training’ takes place on July 21 at 7pm.
Topic: ‘Sustainable Club Structures’ webinar takes place on July 22 at 7pm.
Topic: ‘First to Final Kick’ Club Participation Pathway, takes place on July 23 at 7pm.
Topic: Covid-19 Club Education Module: This certified eLearning module is available on line and contains the most up-to-date information for players, parents/guardians and team personnel and enables participants to get a certificate to verify completion to their club. Completion time is approximately 30 minutes. Location is accessible via any laptop or mobile device. For access go to https//learning.gaa.ie/covid19

Please Note
If any members of the county Longford ladies panels from U14 up to senior are celebrating any special event or any member of the Longford LGFA community would like to share a story or an event and would like to have it mentioned in these notes please forward your information to pro.longford@lgfa.ie and I will be glad to include your event in this column. 

Thanks 
Thanks to Grattans senior club player Rebecca O’Kane for her interesting and informative interview and views on the ladies game which appears on this week’s Longford Leader. Next week we can look forward to more interesting thoughts when we speak with Sarah Smyth, Ballymore Ladies club senior football player.

Also read: Clonguish's Sinead Macken recuperates from serious knee injury during Covid-19 lockdown

Registration
Before players can resume training or playing games with your club each girl from U8 up to senior level must be registered. The current registration (2019/2020) has been extended to July 31 due to Covid-19 by the LGFA. Registration for the 2020/2021 season beginning on August 1, so if girls have paid registration this year they are covered from August 1 through to June 30, 2021. Note an eleven-month year as agreed by the LGFA. 

Club Fees & Levies
Clubs please note that all competition fees must be paid to Longford county board for competitions only which each club enters this year 2020. If there is an overpayment by any club for competitions not taking place this year, the payment will roll over to next year 2021.

In relation to the club Levy this payment must be paid prior to playing in any competitions. Again any over payment by any club will be carried over to next year. For this year only due to Covid-19 clubs will be asked to pay only 50% of the annual club levy. For more information on competition fees and levy charge contact Longford LGFA Secretary at secretary.longford@lgfa.ie