Powerchair Football just like every other part of life as we knew it became the victim of the global pandemic known as COVID-19. It soon became apparent that all events, training and activity needed to be curtailed and our most vulnerable groupings to stay isolated as the virus swept across the world. The AIPF Board recently issued a statement on the current COVID-19 crisis which can be viewed below. We hope that this situation will improve as quickly as possible and powerchair football can resume safely.
“Dear players, families and friends,
Our world is facing enormous difficulties with growing numbers of nations, cities, towns and communities learning to confront these unprecedented times. This is an extraordinary, unparalleled moment in history that is so much bigger than sport.
As ever, we have a duty of care to all of those involved in Powerchair Football and we will do what is right by you. The health and well-being of our players remains our top priority and if this means the postponement or cancellation of training sessions and matches in the coming months as part of a global containment effort of COVID 19, then so be it, this is the right thing to do. As a community that cares for one another, we must work together, taking all the steps we can to preserve health and, most importantly, protect life.
All year we have looked forward to what we can achieve together at the Tri-Nations, Home Nations, and next year’s Powerchair Football World Cup in Australia, not to mention the tournaments and training sessions along the way. We have all worked so hard to prepare ourselves to be the best we can be and set new standards in the sport. Powerchair Football on the island of Ireland has never been in better shape from a performance perspective and I know that we will burst back onto the world stage when the current crisis calms.
The Tri-Nations in Scotland has already been canceled and we are postponing all scheduled tournaments, meet-ups and training sessions until further notice. We have received no formal guidance on the status of the Home Nations competition in Scotland this October but will update you as the situation develops. It is important to note that sports of all guises face similar disruption. We continue to monitor World Health Organisation (WHO) advice on best-practice, as well as that of the Health Service Executive (HSE) and health experts here in Ireland.
We fully understand that the cancellation of training and competitions has led to uncertainty, unease, and concern for what this means for players and our entire community. We want to assure you that the AIPF Board is monitoring the situation 24/7 to find solutions to every issue we face. We held a (remote) Board Meeting as recently as this Thursday to discuss a plan of action for the coming months. We are also wholly aware and empathise with all Powerchair Footballers that find themselves unable to stay as active as they would like right now.
We want to provide you with as much up to date information as we can and help find solutions wherever possible. However, we cannot anticipate how this crisis will develop nor speculate on what is around the corner. Our current reality is shifting by the day.
What we can promise you is that over the coming days, weeks and months, we will find practical solutions to overcome this impasse, in the best interests of our community.
The most appropriate sources of information on COVID-19 include the HSE website and that of the WHO. They are providing regular situation reports and have a wide range of guidance on health and protection, travel advice, as well as an extensive myth-busting section. The WHO site now includes a section on how Homecare can be provided as safely as possible.
While we are in for a bumpy ride, there are some faint rays of light piercing the dark clouds. Vaccine trials have begun, while new cases are steadily decreasing in those countries first hit hard by the virus.
Ireland and the world faces the most significant challenge in a generation, and we humbly request your patience and flexibility. Those involved in Powerchair Football are no strangers to seemingly insurmountable challenges and obstacles in our way. As ever, by hook or by crook, we will overcome.
With good cheer and hope in our hearts,
The Association of Powerchair Football Board”