Sport Australia has launched a suite of resources to help community sporting organisations return to the field as safely as possible as COVID-19 restrictions ease.
Acting Chief Executive Officer at Sport Australia, Rob Dalton said the Return to Sport Toolkit, developed in partnership with Hockey Australia, included checklists, COVID-19 safety plans and templates that could be used by sporting organisations at any level.
The toolkit was in step with the AIS Framework for Rebooting of Sport in a COVID-19 Environment and the Australian Government’s National Principles for the Resumption of Sport and Recreation Activities, Mr Dalton said.
The Return to Sport Toolkit was primarily aimed at supporting the safe resumption of community sport, with many clubs and associations reliant on a dedicated workforce of volunteers, he said.
“The main thing I want to emphasise to all sport and participants is that public health is the most important consideration – advice from your Government health authorities is paramount,” Mr Dalton said.
“I urge all sporting participants not to jump the starting gun without first the consent of your relevant State and Territory Government health authorities,” he said.
“Australia’s sporting community is desperately keen to get back in the game and resume playing the sports they love, but we need to ensure that is done in a safe, responsible and low-risk manner so that we can keep moving forward towards the full resumption of sport.”
He said sport was extremely lucky to host the largest volunteer base of any industry in Australia, and it was fitting that it launched the Return to Sport Toolkit in National Volunteer Week.
“Sport Australia recognises that many of our sporting clubs and associations are led by these wonderful people who now face very complex decisions with limited resources to manage a safe return to sport,” Mr Dalton said.
Minister for Youth and Sport, Senator Richard Colbeck said sporting clubs and organisations across Australia woud play an “enormous part” in getting the nation back on track as it recovers from the impact of COVID-19.
“The safe return of competition relies on a responsible rollout where everybody follows advice and takes precautions,” Senator Colbeck said.
“We have a big challenge ahead of us – but together the National Principles, the AIS framework and Sport Australia’s toolkit offer tangible advice to ensure community sporting groups are prepared to control and deal with the virus in this new era.”
The Return to Sport toolkit can be accessed at this PS News link.