Important Academy Update 6 | COVID-19 Virus
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic it has been a focus of ours to ensure the safety of all our players and staff and also to check on the general wellbeing of all our players and their families. It has been an extremely difficult period of time for everyone and one in which we have had to constantly look at ways we can adapt to still deliver aspects of our programme across the U8-U23 age groups.
Our aim over the coming months will be to gradually re-introduce parts of the programme and also new ways in which we can engage with players and parents.
Return to Training
The current situation has not changed drastically since our last Parent Forum back in April and it is likely that there will still be a phased return to training at the Academy and it will be dependent on Government/EFL advice.
Our First Team have returned recently with isolated one-to-one training sessions, with the aim of starting small group sessions from 25th May once approval has been received from the EFL.
We will be putting together plans to ensure any return to training is safe for everyone involved and in-line with the latest Government/EFL advice. A timeframe on these plans for the different groups has not been set and we will aim to communicate this as and when appropriate to the relevant age groups.
It is important to note that the restrictions in place currently for the First Team to return to training are extremely stringent and therefore any return for the Academy will need to be carefully planned out.
At the beginning of the pandemic in March we set about still delivering our programme remotely. We found this to be really successful with great levels of engagement and creativity from our players. We have naturally had to observe a short break from our programme recently but we have still looked to ensure players have been kept engaged through the technical objective challenge, our Education sessions across the age groups and the conditioning plans in place for all players.
Over the coming weeks we will be looking to interact more with players through some Q&A sessions with First Team players and nutrition talks held by our Sports Science & Medicine team.
Wes Harding will be hosting a Q&A with our U13s-U16s and Charlie Lakin will be doing the same for our U8s-U12s, these will be on Wednesday 20th and Wednesday 27th May respectively with the meeting details being sent separately to this email. Players in the Professional Development Phase have already had a Q&A with Craig Gardner and there will be further Q&A sessions for these players that we will communicate directly with them through our WhatsApp groups.
As well as engaging with all parents through our online Q&A forums, we are putting together plans to provide additional information around insights into how we work at the Academy, player development and the importance of nutrition.
We have already held a webinar with our Clinical Psychologist Dr. Suzanne Brown which can be viewed again on Hudl and we would welcome any recommendations from parents for further content that you would like us to deliver.
Guidance on the PFA Safety Net has been sent out via email and it is a resource that both players and parents can access for topics such as mental health, lifestyle support, relationships and football to name a few. Our Head of Education & Player Care Mark Sinclair will be able to answer any questions you may have around this by contacting him on Mark.Sinclair@bcfc.com.
As part of our player and parent provision for the U8-U16 age groups we are also looking to virtually host our annual Academy Awards evening as we think it’s still really important to celebrate the success of our players this season. Again, we would welcome any recommendations from parents as to how you think this should look to make it an enjoyable evening for the boys.