Dear fellow Magpies
I would like to provide you with a further update concerning the latest developments with a plan to resume, firstly, to limited training, and secondly, to full competition.
I am sure you will all feel the frustration of not being out on the pitch playing hockey at the moment. However, the current downward trends of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Australia are very promising and we are close to at least a resumption of limited training.
The club management committee has continued to meet regularly over the past couple of weeks to consider all things affecting the club. The response, support and understanding from players, past members and supporters had been excellent.
The major issue that we have addressed is preparing draft guidelines for return to limited training to ensure we as a club fully comply with all directions issued and we are ready to go as soon as we get the green light from Hockey SA. We have been working in close liaison with Hockey SA in the development of the club’s guidelines.
State Sporting Associations – including Hockey SA – met online with the Minister Wingard and Kylie Taylor (CEO Office for Recreation and Sport) late on Friday afternoon and provided information / clarification about the Roadmap for the return to sport.
It was acknowledged that there are still some unknowns and further conversations and decisions will be needed to be made over the coming weeks, including a return to competitive sport.
The issues that were raised at this meeting included:
- A communication plan to inform associations, clubs and members
- General hygiene principles required, including cleaning of facilities
- How the sport / recreation will space groups of 10 and maintain 1.5m social distancing
- Management of people who present who are unwell, experiencing any cold, flu or fever type symptoms
- Access and egress protocols
- How support staff might be minimised
- Requirements of non-sporting attendees such as parents
- Requirements related to spectators
- Use of facilities, e.g. sheds, toilets, change rooms, club rooms, catering facilities, carparks etc • Difference in restrictions for contact / non-contact / individual activities
- Difference in indoor or outdoor restrictions
- Readiness to reverse plans should restrictions increase
- Readiness to advance to next level if restrictions ease
- Special circumstances that apply to your sport/recreation
However, the Police Commissioner ultimately has made the final decisions under an updated Emergency Management (Non-Essential Business and Other Activities (COVID-19) Direction No. 5 2020 under the Emergency Management Act (dated 11 May 2020). Many of the issued raised above are now covered in the latest Direction No. 5 issued by the Commissioner of Police today.
Approval has already been given for football and soccer pitches to be divided into three zones with ten people in each zone and outdoor netball courts similarly has approval to have ten people on each court.
For others sports, there is no specific dimensions for ‘zones’ but sensible logic should apply as per football and soccer examples.
Hockey SA has recommended that the pitch be divided into thirds to allow 3 groups of 10 people (9 players + 1 coach) using each quarter. In principle, I believe this is a good outcome for hockey and will ensure that all club members in all groups / grades will have appropriate pitch time during training sessions. The management committee is meeting tonight to draw up a plan of how best to utilise the ground divided into thirds.
A commencement time for training sessions for all players will be announced following the Management Committee meeting tonight.
For underage teams, one parent, guardian/caregiver will be allowed to be present at training with adherence to social distancing.
As far as return to full competition is concerned, the government will continue to monitor the situation and make further statements in 4 week’s time.
I believe this is all positive news for a return to hockey in 2020.
And now for the ongoing good news off the field:
Upgrades to the club rooms have continued on a daily basis over the past few weeks. The engagement of club volunteers has been outstanding. The current work program will hopefully see all the upgrades complete inside the clubrooms within the next fortnight. We are still looking for volunteers to help and will continue to post in the Events section of Facebook providing details.
I look forward to seeing you back at the club very shortly at training.
In the meantime, please take care, keep safe and thank you for your support. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require further information or just wish to have a chat. My mobile is 0416 955 082
Dennis Meredith AM
Port Adelaide District Hockey Club Inc.