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Basketball "an afterthought" as federation grows weary of govt. silence


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Basketball Ireland say indoor sports have become an afterthought to the government. 

Yesterday's announcement by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin outlined an easing of restrictions for outdoor sports, beginning on April 19.

Inter-county GAA teams will be allowed begin preparations for the Allianz Leagues, while outdoor individual sports like golf and tennis can resume from April 26.

However, nowhere in the government's roadmap is there a provision for indoor sport.

Under 'gyms and leisure centres', it simply states "Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools are closed".

The government's roadmap - released in February - stated that gyms, leisure centres and pools can only re-open under level-2 and level-1 restrictions.

But with no indication of what may precipitate an easing of restrictions to such a degree, organisations like Basketball Ireland are growing impatient at a lack of information.

They highlight the Irish international squads, who are preparing for European Championships this summer, but are unable to train collectively.

Basketball Ireland and other NGB's are due to meet the Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers, on April 9.

Basketball Ireland CEO Bernard O'Byrne said, "Basketball and indoor sports in general seem to be a Government afterthought, when it comes to issuing guidelines, despite having ample time to factor us in.

"We now have to wait another 10 days before hopefully we get some clarity at next week’s meeting with Minister Chambers.

"We need a roadmap so our international teams, clubs and players can start looking to the future. At the moment there isn't any indication as to when our elite squads and adult players can resume training.

"We are obviously keen to see our Irish international squads being allowed to collectively train, in order to give them the best chance of success at the European Championships, should they go ahead, having not been able to play competitively domestically this season.”

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Basketball Basketball Ireland Bernard O'Byrne Covid-19 Jack Chambers Micheál Martin

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