#SafeReturn – Innovation

Posted On 2nd October 2020

As hockey players, fans, umpires, parents return to the hockey fields all over Europe, we are taking some time to take a snapshot of what’s happening around Europe and who are the drivers to make hockey happen in a safe environment for players, club members and fans. #SafeReturn

Irish International Sean Murray and his Irish Masters Dad, Mark Murray are longterm members of Lisnagarvey HC. When it looked likely that hockey could return to the field, but with strict guidelines on contract tracing, the IT experts put their heads together to come up with a solution that would be simple for their club, respect GDPR and ensure compliance with the guidelines laid down by the government in Northern Ireland.

Speaking to Sean recently he confided in us that “Dad is the brains behind the operation as he is a software developer and really just wanted to find a solution for Lisnagarvey. The necessary contact tracing is tedious, with many people using forms and stuff like google doc, but this then has to be done for each session, visit the club and well in advance, especially if people have to print papers off etc… We just thought that between us (I had a lot of time on my hands being home from Rotterdam in ‘lockdown’) we must be able to develop a web app that would make the whole process easier.”

“We had huge success in the club, which really helped them, for example, manage the recent Hockey Ireland finals, as you can also have a QR code which people can scan at the venue.”

“The whole project has now mushroomed, mainly by word of mouth, as it’s simple to use and complies with GDPR, as it has a data encrypted database which of course is important for using for contact tracing !”

“All of a sudden we had a business model on our hands, so we decided that as I’m now in Leuven, playing for KHC Leuven and have time to grow the business with Dad’s constant software development support we would formalise the web app into a company called Covid Venues Ltd. And it literally took off, with the Ulster Cricket Union, Leinster Hockey and Hospitality Ulster now using it. The feedback is that it’s simple, intuitive and feels safe.”

“Dad and I really are delighted that our IT skills and love of hockey and our mission to get our own club back safely to hockey has spurred us on to create something that is useful not just now to our own club, but way beyond that!”

“Anyone who is looking for something like this can contact me on covidvenuesapp@gmail.com.” (*)

(*) Please note that Covid Venues App is not a partner of the EHF. The story is about innovation and dedicated hockey people like Sean and Mark Murray who have used their knowledge to help with the safe return to hockey in their club, Lisnagarvey HC.

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