The COVID-19 pandemic has changed every aspect of our lives and placed our 2020 football season into uncertainty. The recent relaxation of Government restrictions for community sport announced on 13 May 2020 has given us hope that it won’t be long before we are back on the park and playing football again.
While this is encouraging, it is important we continue to be patient and sensible. We must work together to ensure a smooth transition back to football and to ensure that our community remains safe and well.
At a club level, there is still considerable vital work to be done. Capital Football has developed a Return to Football Guide to support our community get back on the park. It provides practical information in relation to the restrictions for both ACT and NSW football clubs, key dos and don’ts, training and venue requirements, incident management and general precautions we can all support.
To further support clubs, additional templates and checklists are also being developed by Capital Football. These resources are available to assist Clubs develop their own systems and processes around the delivery of training and venue management and guide the development of your Return to Play in a COVID-safe Environment Plan (the Plan).
Capital Football will not be endorsing the Plans but will review and provide advice on whether the Government requirements have been addressed.
It is important to note that clubs cannot commence training until these plans have been developed and submitted to Capital Football.
Development of the Plan must be done in a thorough and careful manner and in compliance with Government public health orders. This work cannot be rushed. If we fall at this point, the consequences could be very significant for the safety and welfare of individuals within football and the broader community.
We ask that you continue to be patient and supportive of your volunteer club committees so that they have the necessary time to consider all relevant factors and create safe training venues for their members.
Individually there is a lot we can do to support our clubs and each other when training does resume. We must take full responsibility for our own behaviour and our decision making. We can:
- Download the CovidSafe app
- Not attend training if unwell
- Label belongings, particularly drink bottles so it is clear who owns it and not share any belongings
- Bring your own hand sanitiser in your training bag
- Comply with every aspect of our club’s processes and systems by practicing social distancing, training in groups with a maximum of 10 and adopting the ‘get in – train – get out’ approach (no arriving early or hanging around after training
- Recognise that the 2020 season will be very different compared to previous seasons. It will be shorter and compressed and training may be delivered at different times, and possibly on different days, compared to previous seasons. The same is also likely to apply if and when we progress to competition matches, so we need to manage our expectations and be prepared for a different 2020 season.
It is essential we all do our part to ensure that our football and broader communities remain safe and so we can transition to a competition phase of football. It is also important that we are patient with and supportive of our club volunteers and give them the time they need to plan for a safe return to training.
Stay safe and well and we look forward to seeing you back on the pitch at training in the coming weeks.