AS sport gradually begins to emerge from lockdown, an Oxfordshire company believes it can provide a helping hand in ensuring clubs conform with new safety protocol.

Big Germ Hunters, based in Garford, near Wantage, has developed a sanitiser with a difference - one staff believe will benefit organisations, players and equipment alike.

With a number of sports getting back to action as restrictions are eased, the Covid-19 pandemic has seen a whole raft of new guidelines introduced.

Clubs and individuals must adhere to the directives in order to return, with ‘strong hand hygiene practices’ joining social distancing as key factors in the resumption.

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That prompted Big Germ Hunters to develop a new product to provide clubs with a far more economical solution to regular hand gel, while also assisting the players.


John Cardy, joint owner of the company, explained: “Clubs now have to provide hand sanitiser in and around their facilities which could prove very expensive indeed – a cost they could all do without at this time.

“As well as the financial implications, it is important you are using a product that not only does what it is supposed to, but also that does not hinder the performance of players.

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“Using sanitiser in gel form not only costs a lot, but also not ideal for players as it makes your hand greasy which compromises grip and control - something particularly important in sports such as rugby, netball and hockey.

“We were aware of this and so decided to create a liquid sanitiser which is both far more cost-efficient and better for players as it is residue and grease free.”

“Because of this, it is also easier to spray on equipment such as balls, sticks, flags and cones, so we think it ticks every box.”

Sports clubs have never needed help so much.

Those who play in winter saw their games cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, but the summer sports are yet to get under way with many facing up to the very realistic possibility they may be forced to miss the entire season.

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Still forced to pay bills and overhead costs with potentially no income through subscriptions, bar takings and match fees, many will face a real battle to survive.


New directives from governing bodies are having to be put in place for clubs to have any chance of restarting, forcing added financial pressure for those already teetering on the brink.

Mr Cardy hopes his product will be able to assist them.

He added: “These and extremely difficult and unprecedented times for us all, but as huge sport fans we wanted to do something to try to help clubs.

“The sanitiser evaporates quickly but still kills 99.9 per cent of bacteria. And because it is a liquid from an atomiser spray, you use a much smaller amount than you would gel, meaning it lasts so much longer.

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“Clubs will need several sanitiser stations so doing it this way makes much more financial sense.”

With restrictions in some sports slowly being eased in one form or another, clubs are eager to ensure that they have all the protocols in place to ensure a quick restart when they are finally given the all-clear.

Although professional football has returned to our television screens, many other games are having to wait patiently and are becoming increasingly frustrated with being kept on the sidelines.

While this week’s announcement that bars and restaurants can reopen at the start of next month – along with a safe social distancing of one metre – will come as a welcome boost on the road to recovery, it is more vital than ever that clubs do everything correctly when they are eventually shown the green light.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that where it is not possible to stay two metres apart, people should keep a distance of “one metre plus” - this means staying one metre apart, while observing precautions to reduce the risk of transmission.

Mr Cardy added: “It has been very tough for everyone over the past three months, both individually and collectively, and many clubs will struggle to get back to normality – whatever that may be now.


"There are so many different things to think about and added pressure will undoubtedly be on clubs to not only do all their can to protect their members, but also show that they are doing the right things when it comes to equipment and facilities.

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“They have to all take the safety issue so seriously and now need to consider all sorts of things that were taken for granted before. Hopefully we can help them to do that in some way.”

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