Lockdown’s Impact on Sport and Social Clubs – Krishna Eddanapudi, Tiffin School – This is Local London

Lockdown’s Impact on Sport and Social Clubs

By Krishna Eddanapudi 

Investigating the impact lockdown has had on clubs

Since the start of lockdown, sports and social clubs of all shapes and sizes have, and still are, facing a huge challenge as they look to return to relative normality. As a result, lockdown’s heavily impacted physical fitness for many people. So, has lockdown forever changed how club members interact with each other? How are sports clubs looking to revert back to normality?

England’s national lockdown began on 16 March 2020 according to Matt Hancock, when Boris Johnson made the statement that it was time for everyone to minimise non-essential contact. But it wasn’t until the 23rd of March that the PM told everyone they “must” stay at home. Research suggests that lockdown has worsened the gap between active and inactive people in England. 

And so I delved deeper into the topic of sport and social clubs by interviewing Arjan Dhatt (U-15s football player and U-7s coach for Indian Gymkhana Club): “Indian Gymkhana is essentially a multi-sports club as well as a social club in Osterley, London. For example, there are football, cricket and hockey teams, as well as a huge hall for parties and social gatherings. Not only that, we also have a successful senior men’s team.

“Prior to lockdown, I used to go there very often, to train and to play actual matches. It was very fun, but lockdown changed everything. Sports-wise, grass-root football was cancelled, and so were hockey and cricket games. Like in school, we had to rely on communicating online, like on WhatsApp and other social media platforms. But, as far as I’m aware, we didn’t stop exercising, since we had to make up for lost time.”

So how is the club looking to rebuild itself for the future?

“Well actually, after the end of the first lockdown, at around September, the club reopened again. There were so many new rules and changes, like having smaller group bubbles. There were a higher number of sanitising stations and we had to socially distance ourselves when we weren’t training. The club also introduced the idea of track and trace forms for the safety of children as an extra precaution. Of course, these were necessary precautions, and it’s likely, when the second lockdown ends, most of these rules will be put back into place for a long time.”

Although lockdown has had a considerably negative effect on sport clubs, these new necessary rules have been put into place, suggesting that people are perhaps understanding the importance of hygiene, and this virus could forever change the way we interact with each other…

Indian Gymkhana is a great multi-sport club open to people of all ages and backgrounds, established in 1916. For more information about this club, click here: https://indiangymkhanaclub.co.uk/.

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