Sevenoaks to reopen for business
Sevenoaks to reopen for business

Sevenoaks Town is set to be one of the first clubs in Kent,  if not the country, to open to players of all ages as lockdown measures ease across England.

Doors at the Bourne Stadium have been firmly closed since the COVID outbreak when football was suspended by The Football Association in March.

Over the past couple of weeks, the committee at Sevenoaks Town have worked tirelessly to put together a comprehensive and COVID secure plan to enable the FA Charter Community club to bring back football in June.

With over 1,000 people accessing football through the club, The Oaks have introduced a series of measures, invested in their ground and carried out risk assessments for the Bourne Stadium as well as park training to re-introduce their 64 teams from Under 7s to men’s and women’s sides back to football. 

The club has made a number of significant investments to enable this level of provision including a face measure temperature camera, hand sanitising stations around the 3G pitch and introduced a Covid emergency room fully equipped with PPE.

Social distancing reminders are now placed around the ground with key touch points sanitised with an eight-day coronavirus protection applied – and will continually be applied, every week.

The work undertaken by Sevenoaks Town provides an insight into the levels community facilities will now have to go to satisfy requirements. The Town’s plans are as comprehensive as they are impressive with further steps being taken to secure the grounds.

Steps including the installation of screens in the club house, turnstiles and stadium tea bar to monitor activity and a new cashless payment system employed across operations.

Whilst coaches have all been supplied with a can of sanitising spray. 

Club Chairman Paul Lansdale explained how monumental a task it has been to bring safe football back to Sevenoaks Town.

“Like many clubs across the country, the past few months have been an incredible challenge. As a club who prides itself on being there for the community, a lot of our focus was – and will remain – on how we can support the town, its residents and those affiliated with our club and those who are not.”

“Over the past few weeks, we made it a priority to try to re-introduce football at the Bourne Stadium. It has been a tough task and we have introduced a number of measures so our players, parents, coaches and volunteers feel safe and enjoy playing football again. Risk assessments and method statements for dealing with coronavirus while involved in any football activities have all been completed, so we are now at a stage where we can welcome our players back.”

“It’s a huge step for us, it’s a step we are proud of because whilst there are many important issues going on, we appreciate the physical, social and psychological benefits for those involved with our club to be able to come back here. We’ve been thorough and left no stone unturned. That has of course cost us but there is no price for safety and reassurance. It means we can now – for the first time in a very long time – get excited about football again. I’m proud of how the club has led this process and I hope and am confident many other clubs across Kent and beyond will begin to follow suit.”