News Article

What to expect for University Sport in 2020-21

Dear Team Christ Church members,

We hope that everyone is continuing to keep healthy and safe throughout this ultimately unprecedented and difficult time.

As you may have already seen from Wednesday’s post (17/6/20) , BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) have now provided a formal statement regarding what shape next season will take for University Sport. You can read the statement in full via this link:

Based upon this, we have compiled a summary of the key points for your reference below:

  • The BUCS Season for 2020/21 will not commence until January 2021 (no Semester One BUCS activity) 

  • 2020/21 is effectively a ‘bridging season’ which whilst being points based, will have no impact upon future league standings with no subsequent promotions or relegations taking place

  • As a result the conclusion of the 2019/20 season will not impact league standings and structures until the 2021/22 season

  • The affiliation into BUCS next season is an institution-wide affiliation and not a club-by-club affiliation

  • The full calendar of 2020/21 BUCS Events will be available to Clubs by Friday 28th August 2020

  • BUCS have been further developing the BUCS Play App in order to resolve the issues experienced during its launch in the 2019/20 season 

Whilst we appreciate that this will undoubtedly have a huge impact upon your University experience for the 2020/21 academic year, especially for Semester One, we are absolutely committed as a Students’ Union in working towards offering you the best sporting experience within our capabilities. 

We will be working closely in partnership with Christ Church Sport in the coming weeks in order to scope out the best approach for what Semester One sport could look like as a result of these changes.

Naturally this will be driven by a number of variables which are unfortunately beyond our control including BUCS, Government, NGB (National Governing Body) and University guidance. However the above BUCS statement now provides us with a clear basis from which we can begin to plan and adapt our approach to University Sport for the year.

If you have any questions about anything from the above statement or indeed our plans for the coming months, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us via

Alternatively if you have any ideas you would like to share with us then please do so, as we would absolutely welcome student feedback and we want to ensure that this is at the heart of our planning process. Whilst we may not have the answers immediately, we will strive to provide you with the relevant information as soon as we have it.

In addition to this in the next two weeks we will be able to provide you with clear updates for the below activities:

  • Sports Club Committee By-Elections

  • Sports Club Committee Training

We will be holding the By-Election process for the vacant Committee positions during early July. We are just in the process of finalising the dates internally then we will ensure to update Club Committees accordingly.

Committee Training on the other hand is naturally going to take on a different form to previous years, both due to the fact that this will need to take place virtually but also in that we are largely looking into the unknown for the new academic year. As we will need to take into account a number of variables and changes for the upcoming year, we will need to reformat the structure of this accordingly and think about when will be the most appropriate time to deliver this. Again, as soon as we have determined the best course of action we will ensure that Committees are updated and informed of the timeframes involved with this.

Whilst this is undoubtedly going to be a challenging year for everybody involved with Team Christ Church, we would like to assure all of you that we are absolutely committed to providing you with a positive sporting experience and we are extremely grateful for your patience and understanding given the unprecedented challenges that we are currently facing.

Thank you all for your continued support, passion and commitment in making Team Christ Church what it is today.

Keep positive and stay safe,

Chloe Woolaway - President (Sports and Engagement) 2019/20

Maddy Young - President (Sports and Engagement) 2020/21


FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions):


Q. What does this new update mean for our membership fees next year? 

A. To be transparent, this is something that we are currently working on. We will need to begin conversations with Christ Church Sport upon their staff's return before we can make any decision. Under the current membership model your fee is relevant to your activity, so the cost should naturally be reduced in order to reflect this. However due to the Coronavirus situation we are uncertain as to how the cost of certain services will be affected i.e. transport, venue hire, equipment.


Q. Will we still be able to train in Semester One? 

A. Above all else, this will be dependent upon Government guidance and will be contingent upon the lifting of the restrictions implemented due to the Coronavirus situation. We will also need to take into account sport-specific NGB (National Governing Body) guidance, University guidance and facility availability. We will be monitoring this situation closely and working with Christ Church Sport over the Summer to investigate the available options. You can also keep up-to-date about the return of your sport by monitoring your NGB’s website for guidance.


Q. Will University sports facilities be open in the first semester? (Sports Centre & Stodmarsh) 

A. As per the above question, this will be contingent upon Government, University and NGB guidance. Due to the Coronavirus situation there will be a number of control measures that need to be implemented in order to make a return to sporting activity safe. As a result this will be under constant review with Christ Church Sport in order to ensure a safe approach moving forward.


Q. Will there be an opportunity to play in intramural or local league sport? 

A. Through monitoring your NGB websites you will get a clear indicator as to when competitive leagues will be beginning to return. Once the Christ Church Sport team is fully operational again we can begin to map out potential options for sporting provision in Semester One. Naturally we will be looking to accommodate sporting activity wherever this is practicable and safe, subject to venue availability.


Q. Is there a difference between when outdoor and indoor sport can be played? 

A. As in keeping with Coronavirus guidelines this will depend upon the sport and the nature of the activity taking place. If areas of your sport can follow social distancing guidelines (For example at the moment, groups of up to six people outdoors maintaining 2m social distancing) then there will be scope to begin this activity. By virtue of its nature, outdoor sport will be more likely to return sooner.


Q. How will this affect new members joining our Club? 

A. There’s no doubt that the beginning of the new academic year will look very different to what you have previously experienced. We’re still absolutely keen for you to engage new members from their arrival at University and to grow your Sports Club communities. We are currently working on different Freshers’ Fayre options, both traditional and new in order to try and provide the best platforms possible for you to recruit new members.


Q. As a result of the shortened season will BUCS reduce both their overall affiliation fee and their individual team entry fees?

A. We are currently in contact with BUCS regarding this issue as it is important to get clarity on this ahead of the new academic year. Once they have provided a formal response we will ensure that this is communicated with our members.


Q. Will NGB fees be cheaper for this season as a result of the reduced BUCS season?

A. As NGB fees are applicable to all sports clubs as opposed to just University Sports Clubs this may not be the case. We are hopeful that BUCS will be able to lobby NGB’s for reduced student Club rates for 2020/21, but Clubs should be prepared to pay their usual NGB affiliations in case this is not achieved.


Q. How will social distancing measures affect transport arrangements for matches and/or training and will face masks be mandatory for Sports Club-related travel?

A. Over the Summer period we will be liaising with Airport Connections as to what control measures and criteria they will be implementing upon their service provision. This will naturally be mainly determined by Government guidance and will therefore depend upon the guidance in place of the time of service operating.


Q. What happens if a Club member/coach/official tests positive for Coronavirus during the season and/or when Sports Club activity is taking place?

A. Should there be an outbreak of Coronavirus resulting in direct contact within your Sports Club you will need to adhere to the Government guidelines and NHS advice at the time of the outbreak occurring.


Q. How will the Sports Federation Dinner and Varsity events be affected by this? 

A. The Sports Federation Dinner event is heavily dependent upon Government guidelines relating to both Coronavirus and the events industry. We are in frequent communication with the Margate Winter Gardens regarding both venue availability for date changes and the impact of Government guidance upon their ability to operate.

As for Varsity we have already begun planning with Kent Union in order to try and protect the Varsity event. The only aspect of the event that we can host conversations around at this moment in time is the potential of this being moved to a later stage in the season in order to accommodate the new BUCS season timeline. This is a decision that we do not take lightly, but as the BUCS season is not commencing until January it is logical to discuss this potential move to either later on in Semester Two or to early in Semester three. 


Q. What if other Universities have no physical presence on campus and therefore won’t enter teams into the BUCS leagues and could we potentially see an even further reduced fixture list as a result of this?

A. BUCS are currently working hard on their own FAQ’s list which we are hopeful will include answers to wider BUCS questions such as this. As soon as such a list is released we will ensure that this is shared with you all accordingly.


Q. What happens if there is a second wave of Coronavirus resulting in a cancellation of all BUCS Sport for 2020/21? Will I be refunded my membership fee as a result?

A. The membership fee for each Sports Club varies depending upon what activity they take part in. Should your Club budget for areas related to the BUCS season that then subsequently does not take place, members will naturally be entitled to be refunded for these elements.


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