Monday 18th May 2020:
In consultation with the MOD, PJHQ and Formations (incl ASCB), all Army overseas activity planned to commence up to 30 September 2020 inclusive has been reviewed by the LOC. The Army will continue to minimise overseas activity in accordance with Pj PHOENIX direction; all activity that does not contribute to operations, VHR, overseas resilience, or is deemed non-essential to international engagement is to be cancelled. Included within this review are Overseas Sports Visits (OSVs). Acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic will not be a short-term issue, nor will its impact be equally reflected across the globe, Reference A confirms that all previously authorised OSVs between 1 July and 30 September are to be de-authorised. Any additional applications for OSVs, submitted to ASCB that are due to commence during the period 1 July to 30 September, will not be authorised whilst LOC FRAGO 20-247 remains in force.
Army sports should remain cautious when looking to organise any OSVs from 1 October to 31 December 2020. In the current COVID-19 environment, where discretional overseas travel (which includes OSVs) is currently cancelled, OSV organisers are advised not to commit any funding to tour operators or travel companies/airlines etc. prior to receiving authority from ASCB and advice from the ASL on any potential ASL grant. See 2019DIN 10-001 (Army OSV and OTC) and 2019DIN10-015 (Army Sport Lottery) on the Publications section of the ASCB website. Organisers who commit funds against an OSV prior to receiving authorisation from ASCB do so at their own risk. At a future date, LOC will be conducting a further series of estimates to review Army overseas activity from 1 October to 31 December 2020.
Thursday 14th May 2020:
Whilst NGB guidance on the recommencement of a particular sport is absolutely important, it is the Army that will critically decide when Army sport recommences. You will be aware that the current Army direction is that Army sport is suspended until 30 June, and that this date may well differ from that of NGBs. Please ensure that any messages or discussions reiterates that it is the Army that will make the ultimate decision on when Army sport recommences.
Wednesday 29th April 2020:
Army representative sporting activity, including OSVs, continues to be suspended until the end of June 2020. This is currently been reviewed by the LOC in consultation with the MOD within the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, further direction is expected in the coming days. There have been a few recent instances where organisers have committed funds prior to receiving authorisation from ASCB to conduct their OSV. In the current COVID-19 environment, where discretional overseas travel (which includes OSVs) is currently suspended. OSV organisers are advised not to commit any funding to tour operators or travel companies/airlines etc. prior to receiving authority from ASCB and also the ASL have advised on any potential ASL grant. See 2019DIN 10-001 (Army OSV and OTC) and 2019DIN10-015 (Army Sport Lottery) on the Publications section of the ASCB website. Organisers who commit funds against an OSV prior to receiving authorisation from ASCB do so at their own risk. If you have any queries on the Authorisation of OSVs please email Suzi Duncan. If the query is about funding then the ASL contact is Fiona Greenhill.
Monday 6th April 2020:
To ensure adherence to Government guidelines, protect the force and to maximise the availability of personnel, education and training courses are suspended until 1st June. The detail of the changes by course and the mitigations and waivers that will be put in place are detailed in the ABN available through Defence Connect. Of significance is the suspension of all sports courses until 1st June.
Wednesday 1st April 2020:
In compliance with the Government’s continuing response to COVID-19, with immediate effect all representative Army sport is further suspended until 30 June 2020. This is to include all Overseas Visits and Training Camps. This suspension is subject to constant review and we will notify you as and when circumstances or policy change. Richard Wyeth from BFBS interviewed the Director of the Army Sport Control Board, Major General Shaun Burley CB MBE, on this morning’s show. Head over to our Facebook page to listen to the interview about how Army sports is effected by the current COVID-19 situation.
Wednesday 25th March 2020:
Effect on Overseas Sports Visits: Army activity overseas (ongoing or scheduled to take place out to end June 2020) has been formally reviewed by the LOC in consultation with the MOD and PJHQ within the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. The situation continues to deteriorate world-wide, with HN policy/ travel restrictions increasingly being applied to UK personnel. As a result, the decision has been taken to cancel Army overseas activity world-wide out to the end of June 2020 that does not contribute to: operations, readiness or overseas resilience, included within that are Overseas Sports Visits (OSV). As a result ASCB Ops Branch have identified 34x OSVs that are scheduled to deploy overseas within the period 21 April to 30 June. These OSVs will now be de-authorised. OSV organisers will be informed directly by ASCB Ops Branch.
Activity beyond end June 20: Army overseas activity, including OSVs, scheduled to take place July to end September 2020 is due to be reviewed by the LOC week commencing 6 April 2020. Sports secretaries should expect direction to follow shortly after 6 April, regarding OSVs scheduled to take place 1 July to 30 September 2020.
Tuesday 24th March 2020:
ASCB Chief of Staff, Lt Col (Retd) Paul Leighton MBE has provided the following update: Please be advised that iaw Govt current policy on social distancing during the COVID-19 environment, HQ ASCB, the permanent sports secretaries and their support staff based in Fox Lines will be working predominantly from home for the foreseeable future. HQ staff and sports secretaries remain contactable, on their e-mail addresses. A full list of the HQ ASCB staff contacts are available to view here.