A number of Leicester Riders players have restarted their personal training at the Morningside Arena, as they start the recovery from the long break for the coronavirus crisis.

The Arena remains closed to the public, but has introduced a number of new procedures and protocols, consistent with Government guidance for elite sportsman.

The Arena is not expected to open until later in the summer, but preparations have already started to create a safe environment for returning users and fans, while allowing a number of Riders players to undertake their own individual training programmes.

Riders Chairman and Director of the Arena Kevin Routledge emphasized that players safety is paramount in these initial periods,

“We have taken the opportunity during this down period to get in a number of contractors and undertake a deep clean of the venue, and to start a number of refurbishment and changes, that will inevitably be required once we officially allowed to open, to cope with the residual risk from the coronavirus crisis.”

“Visitors and fans will see quite a few changes to the arena, and we also have a number of other major changes going through a design phase.”

“In the meantime, we have done a complete risk assessment and risk mitigation plan in line with the latest Government guidance and developed an on-line booking system that will be used by everyone visiting the arena.”

“That includes a pre-visit on-line screening, and everyone will be scanned in, temperature checks made, and there will be very tight controls on access to the arena, and the activities that take place during this period.”

“A number of the Riders players have been pressing us to allow them access for their own off-season training rituals, and we are using those visits to fine tune our processes and procedures.”

“We have had a number of enquiries for potential uses of the arena in July and August and we want to have fully developed procedures in place, and have them fully tested.”

“Of course no one is quite sure when that opening might be, and what constraints there will be for indoor play and events.”

“Basketball England have issued their first stage guidance and we are fully compliant with that.”

“But the arena has a wide range of users and Events from sports to music and corporate, and we are in close discussions with the Promoters to find new dates for as many of these Events as possible.”

“We have also written to ticket holders offering them refunds or the ability to transfer to future Events.”

Riders will also auction players home Red playing shirts from the 2019-20 season from Monday 22nd June via the clubs’ online shop.

Riders are looking to raise funds for their charity, the Leicester Riders Foundation, to help sustain it through the corona virus pandemic and are asking for supporters to bid if they can on their favourite players’ game worn shirt.

The Foundation has continued to operate at a reduced level on education related projects for young people throughout the crisis.

The players’ jersey auction is usually a popular feature at Riders end of season Awards event but that has been postponed this year with the season cancelled.

The auction goes LIVE on the Riders website (www.leicesterriders.co.uk) at 12pm on Monday 22nd June 2020.

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