18/05/2020- Covid 19

Guidance Clarification – Sparring & Coaching

Following on from last week’s government announcement and guidance for the sport sector, Head Office has received a number of queries around what activities can resume.

The position below is based on the guidance issued by the government and is BF’s current position. The situation will change in response to official change in policy, PHE guidance etc. and we are actively seeking additional clarification and guidance. When we get any information around how/when this might change we will let you know.


1.       Can I spar or take lessons?

No. Currently there is  no scope at all (in either the community guidelines or the Return to Training guidelines for elite athletes) to resume sparring, competition or fencing lessons at this point in time. In any Home Nation.

For those members of our community that are continuing in their efforts to stay fit and active and where Home Nation government allow: “you can exercise outside as often as you wish and from Wednesday 13 May, you can also sit and rest outside – exercise or recreation can be alone, with members of your household, or with one other person from outside your household, while keeping two metres apart at all times”.


2.       Can I coach U18s 1:1 in the park? What about if their parents/guardian are there too? 

No and No. Currently coaches are not currently permitted to coach U18s on a 1:1 basis in the park, or any outdoor space.

According to the specific government announcement (for England, check with Home Nation specific government advice) for coaches and trainers (here):

“If you are a personal trainer/coach you can now work with clients outdoors, providing you are alone and only meeting with 1 person from outside of your household, outdoors, and you are staying a minimum of 2 metres apart”.

At the moment there is no government advice covering U18s and at this time it is the view of BF that should another parent/guardian be present that may constitute meeting with more than 1 person from outside your household.


3. Can I coach people in their back garden?
No. Coaches should not enter home settings or allow clients to enter their home settings. All coaching needs to be conducted in an outdoors public setting.

Clarification added 19/5/20 “You can now see one other person from a different household in an open public space. This has to be one-on-one, outdoors in an open public space and obeying strict social distancing. You cannot visit friends and family in their homes, including in private gardens”


4. (Added 19/05) Does the coaching guidance supersede social distancing guidance or other government guidance?

No. The guidance for sport is published to help sports operate within the wider government guidance and restrictions already in place for all members of the public.


Please note that the guidance around coaching applies in England – people in  Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland must follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK, which may not permit any resumption of ‘in person’ coaching activities.




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