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COVID-19 Information for South West Community Sport
How Can We Help?
**PAGE UPDATED 26/05/2020 at 10:14 AM**
We know this is a hugely difficult time for everyone in the community and we’re continuing to monitor the current situation to get a fuller picture about the impact coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on community sport.
South West Sport is working with our Regional Sport Victoria colleagues around two immediate priorities over this period:
- Supporting the sector to ensure it comes through this period in as strong a position as possible
- Doing everything we can to encourage people to stay active, wherever possible, which we think is now more important than ever.
We will continue to work with you to understand the ongoing and future impact of coronavirus and we want to make sure that whatever action we take has the greatest positive impact. So, we want to hear from you now about the issues you’re facing and to take on board these ideas and concerns to feed into our plans.
We know that:
- It will be difficult for your club, league or association to run and host programs or events as planned and retain member engagement;
- The timings of your season are uncertain;
- People in your community are likely to be anxious, and will probably want to be continuing with their sport participation; and,
- More generally, you may be interested in alternative operations to respond to the current situation and to keep your organisation going.
We are offering South West Sport as a point of contact for clubs, leagues, associations and individuals within the South West. We probably won’t have the answer straight away, but will commit to helping try and navigate this situation as best we can.
Please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know:
- How coronavirus is impacting you or your organisation?
- The type of help you think would be most beneficial?
Please keep in touch with us via the above e-mail address as you or your club’s situation changes.
COVID-19 Links and Information for South West Community Sport
Current Government Health Advice & Information
South West Local Government Advice & Information
~Corangamite Shire Council~
~Glenelg Shire Council~
~ Moyne Shire Council~
~Southern Grampians Shire Council~
~Warrnambool City Council~
Sport Specific Advice & Information
- Sport & Recreation Victoria
- AIS / VIS / Athlete wellbeing
- Sport Australia: Community Sport Guidelines
FAQs for Community Sport
Can our club keep operating?
Not how it has in the past. Community sport has been designated as a non-essential mass gathering. As such community sport is not able to operate.
The Victorian Premier has announced that the current State of Emergency will be extended until midnight on 11 May 2020. Victoria is on Stage 3 restrictions since it was announced by the Victorian Premier on 30 March 2020.
Police have strong powers to enforce these directions and can issue on the spot fines, including up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses. Under the State of Emergency people who don’t comply could also be taken to court and receive a fine of up to $20,000. Companies face fines of up to $100,000.
It is recommended that all clubs refer to their State or National Sport Association’s position in the table we provided above. This will have the most up to date information around potential start-up dates
Club’s should also check with their Local Government as the recent tightening of restrictions has meant that Council’s have closed access to recreation reserves, parks & gardens.
South West Sport, with our Regional Sport Victoria colleagues, is in the process of developing a range of tools to help clubs stay connected, and utilise technology to function.
Please contact us at email@example.com and we would be more than happy to help support your club through this.
Can we still hold meetings, including our AGM, during this time?
Yes, however following the Government’s direction regarding gatherings you cannot meet in person and will need to use a teleconference, videoconference or other means of electronic communication. When conducting meetings online, please ensure that your club is still adhering to your club Rules (constitution). Consumer Affairs Victoria has provided guidance on online meetings and proxy votes, for further information please visit https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/resources-and-tools/advice-in-a-disaster/coronavirus-covid19-and-your-rights
Lex Sportiva an online sports law blog has provided some great advice for clubs regarding holding AGM’s during this time, for further information please click here
What about informal club activity?
No this is not possible under the current Victorian directions. As per previous activities at your venue, operating a club activity, even if informal may void any insurance coverage your members are entitled to. Further to this, if people breach these directions, they face on-the-spot fines of $1,652 for individuals and $9,913 for businesses. Larger fines can also be issued through the courts.
Can we do any sport or physical activity?
Yes, exercise is still possible under the current Government directions, as long as:
- compliance with social gatherings is adhered to
- You can only exercise with people that live at your same premises, or alternatively one other person with whom you do not reside with but must maintain 1.5m & other social distancing guidelines.
- You must not travel for exercise, only from your residence/premesis
Please do not participate in activities which risks you getting injured which may distract medical services from the current community crisis.
Sport is exercise, so why can't we keep playing?
All social sporting based activities must cease under the current restrictions. While there are being questions raised in the community around the applicability of these restrictions, the over arching message from the Victorian Government and peak health agencies is clear:
- If you can stay home, you must stay home
For exercise you can walk, run, jog, ride around the block or similar. This exclusion is not intended for people to travel to a sport or recreation facility to play.
The Victorian Chief Health Officer was unequivocal on 02/04/2020, “Stop looking for loop holes”, in relation to the exercise exclusion.
Under the current restrictions owners/managers of recreational facilities must not open/operate that facility. Victoria Police have been provided the power to issue on the spot fines of up to $1652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for organisations who do not follow the rules.
How long will community sport be impacted?
We don’t know.
The current Victorian State of Emergency was set until midnight 13 April 2020. As at 12 April, this has been extended until midnight 11 May 2020.
Due to the rapidly changing nature of this pandemic it is possible that this will be extended, there are positive signs that the State’s collective efforts are working.
Is there financial support available for my club?
Both our Federal and State Government have announced a range of economic stimulus packages to help survive the impacts of Covid-19. We have collated a range of the stimulus announcements HERE that may be relevant for your club, league or association.
New announcements are continuing to be made, we will endeavor to keep this list up to date. There is also advocacy happening around a sport specific stimulus package.
South West sport have also made up any easy infographic to review your club finances during Covid-19 which can be found HERE
Here at South West Sport:
Our priority is the health and safety of our stakeholders, team members and our communities. We have adjusted our service delivery and programs based on the current expert advice. You can read about our programs by clicking the below button.
Physical activity matters during this period and we think it’s more important than ever right now.
Being active in a way that is right for you, can improve your physical health, help manage stress and anxiety and just generally make you feel better.
We recommend going for a run, a walk or a ride on your own or with a household member, or you can choose from our list of stay at home activities HERE.
Also, check out your State Sporting Association’s Facebook page, they’re sharing innovative ways that club members can stay in touch with their sport at home.