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The Effect Of Coronavirus On Sport In The Vale

 

The Coronavirus has had a vast and wide reaching effect on society, bringing about a nationwide lockdown in the United Kingdom, which has lasted over two months, and causing the cancellation of events across the globe.

Jenner Park - Home of Barry Town United

One of the many areas which has felt the full force of the changes is the sporting world, with leagues and tournaments around the world unable to continue at this current time, leading some to be postponed and others to be cancelled completely.

Sport in the Vale has of course not been immune to this crisis and Bro Radio's, "The Vale This Week", spoke to representatives of the Vale's sporting contingent on its latest edition, this week.

Gavin Chesterfield, manager of Barry Town United, told the programme that, in regards to what he believes are the chances of seeing any domestic football in Wales any time soon, in his opinion, safety is the first thing that should come into your mind. The manager said:

"I don't know is the answer. I'm not a policy maker, but I think, the FAW, like all organisations around the world, the first thing that comes into your mind is safety. That of the players, their families and the supporters.

Obviously Junior football has now been postponed in Wales, I think that's probably the correct decision as there's so many uncontrollables there, but hopefully those young kids can get back to playing football as soon as they can, as soon as it's safe."

Chesterfield also acknowledged the fact that the JDCymru premier is in a slightly different position to many leagues, due to the part time nature of many of the clubs, leading to many players having jobs elsewhere and, of course, some having roles as key workers. He explained:

"I wouldn't say it's unique, with many of the teams around Europe being in similar positions.

"There are comparables, but our players are contracted to the club and play their football that way, but they also have work outside of the club which is their primary source of income.

"For me, we've got a clear stance on things really. From a health perspective, if there's testing available, it's safe to return and there's football to be played, then we'll be there. We're missing it, we're missing the competitive edge and everything that it brings, but if it's going to take any players into a difficult place, or bring any sort of jeopardy to anyone's health, then it's certainly not something we'll support, and I think the FAW are probably sensible in that regard as well."

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The Vale This Week also spoke to Richard Owen, chairman of Cowbridge Tennis Club, who told the show:

"This summer has hit the club particularly hard, because it's the busiest time of the year, it's the end of our membership period and the beginning of a new membership sequence, and we rely on the membership income, largely, to help the running of the club.

"We still have our overheads, in terms of electricity, gas, costs for grass cutting and various other bits and pieces, but we have no funds coming in, so it's a particularly challenging time."

The Chairman of the club went on to explain how he was looking forward to the prospect of tennis returning sooner rather than later, with rules in England regarding the sport being relaxed, as long as all players are from the same household. He said:

"We see tennis as one of the perfect sports to be able to open up early because of the distancing involved.

"It's so important for people to be able to get out and be active. Tennis is excellent in terms of general fitness and getting rid of some of your frustrations, so we really hope tennis comes back as soon as possible, and we can certainly get people on court with safety measures straight away."

You can hear more about how sport in the Vale has been effected by the Coronavirus by listening to The Vale This Week on the "listen again" feature on the Bro Radio website.

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