Tennis clubs in Republic of Ireland to close under Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions

Tennis Ireland receives official communication from Government ordering closure

Tennis clubs in the Republic of Ireland have been instructed to close under Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Tennis Ireland has finally received official communication from the Government through Sport Ireland that all tennis clubs in the Republic of Ireland must close with immediate effect.

Furthermore no junior coaching will be permitted in tennis clubs despite the fact that hockey, soccer and GAA training for example may continue for children. Indeed the FAI confirmed in their updated guidelines that “for underage training, players/coaches/parents guardians are permitted to travel more than five kilometres to attend an organised training session.”

Soccer training can be conducted in pods of 15 players while there is no junior coaching permitted in tennis for the next six weeks where the maximum number in a pod is six, with just four players on court at any one time.

The governing body released a statement mid-morning to that effect. It read: “Following a communication this morning from Sport Ireland, Tennis Ireland notwithstanding its communication yesterday evening (Wednesday) must unfortunately now ask all member clubs to suspend all activities (including all junior coaching programmes) in the ROI with immediate effect.


“The Department of Sport Expert Group is meeting this morning (Thursday) to finalise Level 5 protocols for sporting organisations and once these protocols have been issued to Tennis Ireland, we will communicate further with member clubs.”

“Tennis Ireland understands the difficulties and disappointment that the instruction will pose for players, coaches, club volunteers and staff but the challenge caused by Covid-19 impacts all sectors of society and sport and we need a nationwide effort to fight it.

“Tennis Ireland will, as it has always done, work closely with the government and Sport Ireland to re-open our sport as soon as possible, even on a restricted basis, in as safe a manner as possible. Tennis Ireland wishes to thank clubs, their members and coaches for the work that has been done in the last number of months in providing much needed exercise and safe, socially distant enjoyment to communities across Ireland.”

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer