There is wariness around playing GAA matches before a vaccine is found for COVID-19 according to a survey carried out by the Club Players' Association.
The sizeable survey of 3008 club players revealed that:
- 57 percent of respondents would return to training or action in 2020, 22 percent would not and 21 percent are unsure
- 27 percent are living with a person over 70 years of age or a vulnerable individual
- 64 percent would train or play if there was temperature checking in place
Club Players Association Chairman Micheál Briody says a safe environment is key for action to resume.
“Club players are at the centre of the return to play conversation. The survey results indicate that a significant number of club players believe that until games are safe, they do not want to play. It presents a challenge for the future of the GAA but one we feel that as a community of players and members we can face and surmount together.
“All sporting bodies are faced with the unenviable task of determining when it is safe for their games to resume in light of the Covid-19 pandemic shut down. The GAA as an amateur body, probably has a more difficult task than most because their players all work or study so it is not possible to bubble wrap them between games. Those players will return to families, workplaces, schools or colleges and the task of contact tracing becomes more difficult.
“We have sent a copy of the survey results yesterday to Ard Stiúrthóir Tom Ryan so he could pass it onto the Covid -19 Advisory Group. We have also indicated to him that we will make available our database of members to the Advisory Group should they wish to survey or communicate with club players on any point in their deliberations.
“The importance of the GAA’s role in every community around Ireland was highlighted by the extent of voluntary initiatives organized by clubs to assist people in need of help during the pandemic. This further brings to focus the need of the GAA to remember the grass roots of the organization as they grapple with restructuring the fixtures calendar for 2021.”