After a 5 month hiatus from indoor hoops, due to the Corona virus pandemic, Capital City finally re-opened the basketball courts to small groups of invited Academy players to begin to prepare for the re-starting of basketball, in early August.
The whole basketball community (and entire country) has been rocked by the impact of the Corona virus, which forced both competitions and regular practice's to cease with immediate effect, back in March, 2020. While the ABL season had just concluded for the Titans, a rigorous schedule of workouts, trials and summer competitions lined up for the academy, had to understandably be put on hold as the world watched how the pandemic unfolded. The unprecedented disruption to life in general left academy coaches, players and potential new recruits all in limbo as the governing body of basketball essentially shut down the sport, in the interests of health and safety.
As the months passed by and lockdown measures were eased, players and coaches were given the green light to return to controlled workouts outdoors in the parks, as basketball moved to 'Level 3' of the Basketball England Guidance on COVID-19 protocols. However, in preparing for a highly-competitive game schedule set for the season ahead, both coaches and players alike have been eager to get back to training indoors and beginning to work on team-orientated practices.
Thankfully, with the latest announcement from Basketball England around basketball now being moved to Level 2, the academy are now finally able to invite controlled groups of players back indoors to begin pre-season training while also conducting final rounds of trials for all new incoming players interested in joining the academy this year.
A brief summary of what is now permissible and what to expect at the indoor academy sessions:
Drills, skills, team-based training and behind-closed-doors competitions
Maximum of 30 people at the venue including players, coaches, support staff and officials
No spectators are permitted at this stage
All players must complete our pre-training/competition screening questionnaire and have their temperature taken outside the venue prior to be permitted entry
Hand sanitiser must be used upon entry, regular disinfecting of heavily used areas
Social distancing rules apply if not on the court in a playing capacity. During game play, players must be socially distanced on benches/chairs when not in a playing capacity and time-outs must be conducted on the court ensuring players are adequately spaced
To lower the frequency of bodily contact, players/teams must have no handshakes, celebrations/high fives
No congregating once training, or game has ended
Although the restrictions will feel strange to both players and coaches, the opportunity to return to practise will outweigh any discomfort experienced in adapting to the 'new normal'. As Titan's coach Kieran Matthews affirmed:
"I'm just glad we can finally get back to the game we all love. It's been a tough few months for everyone but we are all extra-motivated to get back to work on getting better and fine-tuning our plans for the season ahead. We'll be sensible in our sessions as guys likely won't be in shape as we come back in, but I think I can speak for everyone is saying we're glad to be back"
- Kieran Matthews, Coach
Limited places at the Academy may still be available for interested players but are only secured through trials held throughout the remainder of the summer. To find out when the next trials are taking place and to secure your spot at an upcoming trial fill out the application form which can be found here: CAPITAL CITY PLAYER TRIAL APPLICATION