Image credit: Evie Collier

Basketball England’s Return to Play roadmap for elite activity has moved into Level 2 in response to the Government’s social distancing guidelines.

As the sport tries to bounce back from the restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, teams will be able to take part in outdoor training sessions with up to 30 individuals allowed on the court from the 29th March.

So now teams like the Nottingham McDonald’s Hoods, of the NBL Division 1, will be able to expand their weekly training and team drills to include more coaches, staff and players, under the Return to Play restrictions.

“So going from training six times a week in one season to going training twice a week in one season has probably been the biggest change for me, personally”
Tolu Babalola, Nottingham McDonald’s Hoods

Tolu Babalola, Nottingham McDonald’s Hoods Power forward (image: Tolu Babalola Twitter)

Tolu Babalola, who has been playing for the Hoods’ men’s senior team since 2020, is excited at getting closer to resuming usual training sessions.

“I’m very much looking forward to the period after March 29th where we can have [up to] 30 people on [the] court,” Tolu said, “It should make training sessions more competitive.”

Tolu says the reduced training sessions during the national lockdown had also affected his own workout routine.

He said “Speaking from last year, coming from the NCAA, we were training basketball in a gym five days a week minimum and playing one day a week. So pretty much getting six days a week with the sport.”

“So going from training six times a week in one season to going training twice a week in one season has probably been the biggest change for me, personally.”

Tolu Babalola speaking about how the increased training sessions will help the team.

In the meantime, Tolu is looking forward to the arrival of fans back in the Nottingham WildCats Arena to watch his team play live from 17th May at the earliest.

He said “At first it was very difficult [not having fans in the stadium], like turning around after making a play and seeing there’s no one in the stands, it was one of the hardest feelings.”

“It’ll be great to have that feeling of fans cheering for us again.”

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