Return to Activity - Latest News

Our latest news offers guidance on the latest Government and Public Health advice; along with recommendations from SOI and what this advice means for clubs affiliated to Special Olympics Ireland.

We would recommend that all Clubs review their existing plans and risk assessments to ensure they are in line with the latest current Government Guidelines.


Latest News Republic of Ireland

As we continue with a cautious and phased reopening during June and July in the Republic of Ireland, last Friday May 28th the Government announced a further easing of restrictions that will impact upon Special Olympics Clubs. This included individual indoor training in pods of one. Sport Ireland has previously provided guidance to the sector on the delivery of individual indoor sport.

You can read the Sport Ireland guidance here 

Indoor training in pods of one can be defined as “Individual, physically distanced, non-contact activity, completed in a pre-defined area, within a controlled environment and without the sharing of equipment.”

From 7th June, club training can now take place in an indoor setting as long as the following guidelines can be met:

  • Masks are worn by coaches and volunteers indoors and on the way in and out of the venue (unless the individual is exempt). Athletes taking part in physical exercise are not required to wear a mask 
  • Implementation of the ‘Pod of One’ Sport Ireland Guidelines


Latest News Northern Ireland

From May 24th, club training can take place in both outdoor and indoor setting as long as the following guidelines can be met:


  • Number of attendees is dependent upon conducting a risk assessment to ensure a safe environment
  • Special Olympics Ireland strongly recommends that masks are worn, and must be worn if 2m distance cannot be maintained (please see above for more information)


  • Number of attendees will be determined by each venue. Contact venue to establish capacity
  • Special Olympics Ireland requires that masks are worn (please see above for more information)
  • Special Olympics Ireland recommends Meetings or Beyond Sports activities are held virtually where possible. If face-to-face meetings are required, masks must be worn.

Important Points

  1. Special Olympics Ireland requires clubs returning to activities to complete a minimum of 1 week in Orientation phase. This is to assist and support athletes and volunteers to adjust to their return to the training environment during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and required public health measures.
  2. Special Olympics Ireland requires Meetings or Beyond Sports activities are held virtually
  3. As per previous guidelines, the Return to Activities Protocol and Safety Plan should be implemented and risk assessments undertaken and reviewed
  4. Complete Confirmation of Readiness and Compliance
  5. Each person returning must complete a new ‘Pre-Return Self-Declaration Form’ before returning to activities
  6. Clubs should also familiarise themselves with the updated Return to Activity Protocol and Government guidelines


Mask Wearing

Special Olympics Ireland recognises that the roll out of vaccinations are providing invaluable protection against COVID-19 however, the continuance of wearing masks is required by the organisation due to the health vulnerability of our athletes and the benefit of maintaining  identified public health guidelines for infectious diseases.

  • Due to the health vulnerability of people with an ID, Special Olympics Ireland has taken the additional step of requiring mask wearing for club sessions. 
  • Mask to be worn on the way into and out of the venue and when moving within the venue (unless the individual is exempt)
  • Athletes taking part in physical exercise are not required to wear a mask
  • Mask to be worn by coaches and volunteers indoors (unless the individual is exempt)
  • Recommendation that a mask is worn outdoors and must be worn where 2m distance cannot be maintained (unless the individual is exempt)

Supporting Safe return to Club activities during Covid

Successful webinars are being held to support both athletes and volunteers as we commence our journey back to activities . Facilitated by our expert medical and sports panel lead by Dr Colm Keane, Psychologist Andy Deffew, and Sports Coach Ken Kavanagh providing information to guide you our coaches on working with athletes who have had Covid 19, athletes/volunteer concerned/anxious about joining group activities, to sporting considerations that need to factored into for planning and operating training sessions.

Click the links below to access our webinars