The gradual easing of the restrictions placed on a lot of things due to the current health crisis have allowed some of the members of Britain's Olympic boxing program to get back to contact training.
Following the guidelines laid down by the Government for the resumption of sporting activities, Great Britain's boxers have started the second stage of the return to training program.
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While adhering to the strict rules that have been laid down, the fighters were finally able to engage in technical and open sparring sessions against each other, with the first show since lockdown began being shown on BT Sport.
In the meantime, sparring is made possible for designated groups only, while the coaches must have their personal protective equipment on, and the boxers must wear a face mask before any pads session must take place.
While interacting with the support staff or consulting with the medical staff, physical distancing must be observed, and to reduce the amount of interaction, the coaches can only work with designated groups.
Rigorous tests for boxers must continue, and this includes a daily wellness questionnaire to be completed by them and regular temperature checks when they are home.
Since the lockdown was eased, the Sheffield camp has witnessed a rise in the number of boxers from 12 to 17. Though they started off with very strict rules, members of the British squad have now spent a total of three weeks in training.
According to the chief executive of Great British boxing - Matt Holt - the coaches, boxers, and the staff were intensively consulted after two weeks of getting back to training, and they all gave a generally positive response. He went ahead to posit that after considering a whole host of factors, including the accommodation, the safety of coaches and boxers in the camp, social distancing, the provision of medical reports, and the actual training itself, the response reveals that all things are working out fine.
It was the outcome of these considerations that spurred the management to decide to move to the second stage of the guideline from the government, and to bring back contact training, with hope towards a full comeback in the near future.
With the growing number of boxers, more coaches and more support staff are expected to join them in training soon. Commenting on this, the performance director, Rob McCracken said that they’ve been able to move to the next level because the adaptation by the support staff, coaches, and the boxers has been wonderful. For him, the meaning of this is that they will look towards achieving seemingly normal training as soon as possible, and all the boxers are eagerly expecting this, even though it must be done with adherence to the highest safety standards.
He said that he has no doubt that boxers will stick to the guidelines that authorities have mapped out for them, and that they will also carry on with the extra precautions lined up for them to help regulate their conducts at home and in training.
The sight of the group is set on the Olympics, and they are conscious of the fact that it will hopefully happen in less than 12 months. So, they are very eager to get back to some level of normalcy in training and prepare themselves for real competition in the nearest future.