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Little by little in sports and culture

Fri, 04. Jun. 2021

The recent easing of the corona restrictions also benefits sports and culture. While sports clubs are exhausting all possibilities, music and cultural groups remain cautious.

The latest easing of measures has only had a minor impact on the areas of sports and culture. The number of participants has been increased from 15 to 50. Outdoors, either a mask must be worn, or the necessary distance of 1.5 metres must be maintained. Both can be waived if contact details are available. Sports activities with physical contact are therefore allowed again. Indoors, the rules remain unchanged: Masks and social distancing are still mandatory.

(Hardly) any influence on tennis and gymnastics
Tennis is currently less dependent on the federal decisions than on the weather conditions, says Andreas Fend, president of the Saanen Tennis Club. The Saanen Tennis Club opened its two outdoor courts at the beginning of May. "We are lucky: since our courts are outdoors, we can easily comply with the regulations," says Fend.

Turnverein Gsteig-Feutersoey and Turnverein Saanen-Gstaad (gymnastics clubs) benefit little from the latest easing of measures but make the best of the situation. Both clubs move their training outside as far as possible to circumvent the mask obligation and the distance requirements.

Relief in football
In football, on the other hand, relief is spreading, especially among adults. Provided that the contact details of every club member are collected, physical contact without a mask is allowed. In addition, championship matches can welcome a limited audience. "We have regained quite a bit of freedom and are slowly but surely moving into 'daily business'. The well-known hygiene and behavioural rules are simply a new standard that is now part of this 'daily business'," explains Christian Frey, president of the FC Sarina football club.

Special rules for music groups
Despite the new limit of  50 people, strict spacing requirements still apply to music clubs and societies: 25 square metres per person are mandatory indoors to practice without masks. The clubs agree that this space requirement is hardly possible to adhere to.

While the yodelling club Gruss vom Wasserngrat and the Chörli Lauenen are now taking a summer break and optimistically look forward to autumn, the Musikgesellschaft Gstaad would like to pick up speed again. Among other things, an outdoor concert is planned for 18 June on the Promenade in Gstaad. "We are also offering our members the opportunity to rehearse in small groups," says President Marcel Romang. The yodelling club Bärgfriede Gstaad discusses the next steps towards the end of this week and is considering ending its long break from singing.

At the moment, however, the focus lies on club life and fostering camaraderie. "We're getting together tonight for the first time since November to have a cosy evening at a barbecue place. We would like to sing in a relaxed atmosphere and are therefore still waiting for further opening steps," Johann von Grünigen, president of the yodelling club Abeglanz Gstaad, said on Wednesday.

Good news from the Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy
International artists will play and perform on the various stages of the traditional festival.  And the festival will be able to welcome an audience thanks to a structured protection concept, accommodating ticket returns and strict contact tracing. There will be no breaks during most of the concerts this year. The distances between the seats are following the requirements of the authorities. The venues' capacities, the church in Saanen and the festival tent in Gstaad, have been reduced to a maximum of half the usual number of seats.

Safety is the top priority
The Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy organisers are optimistic about the festival summer without losing sight of the risks. "The safety of visitors, artists, and our team is our top priority," explains Lukas Wittermann, managing director of the Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy. "It is not our goal to completely exhaust the possibilities under the new regulations. It seems much more important to us to create trust this summer and to be able to enjoy live music without a worry." Current adjustments will be communicated on the homepage.

"With the next easing of measures, we hope for precisely defined framework conditions for our events," Wittermann looks ahead. This still requires a high degree of flexibility from both the organisers, the artists, and not least from the visitors.

Based on AvS/Sophia Grasser and Jenny Sterchi

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