The AFL has been busy in the last couple of days working with other sporting organisations and the NSW government to make sure that community sports can continue in compliance with new guidelines and requirements issued by NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant.
The AFL today published a statement confirming that we can go ahead this weekend here:
But to keep our season going we also need to follow the rules and advice.
In particular, Club social activities are banned until further notice, car-pooling should be avoided where possible, and only one parent or guardian should accompany players to matches and training sessions.
More details here:
And a reminder that full details of the protocols in place for our competition can be found here:
AFL staff have worked hard and done a great job in assuring the NSW government that we can continue our season safely. We need to back up these efforts by doing the right thing.
COVID Safety Officer
COVID safety again needs to be our number one priority over the weekend.
If you are not well, stay home.
If you have any symptoms, stay home and follow the advice of NSW Health.
If you have been to Victoria or at any of the NSW hotspots at the identified times/dates, stay home and follow the relevant rules.
We need to limit attendance as much as possible, so just one parent/carer per player should come along to games.
Players are to follow the relevant hygiene and social distancing protocols, minimise non-essential contact, have their own water/snacks, and leave as soon as possible after they finish their game.
Only players and match officials are to go on to the playing area and all attendance must be recorded in team sheets for contact tracing purposes.
Spectators must stay off the playing field at all times and maintain appropriate social distancing.
We will be running the canteen at Gore Hill on Sunday. Canteen volunteers need to maintain appropriate hygiene practices, and patrons need to observe appropriate social distancing protocols. The canteen will only serve patrons inside the clubhouse and there are limits on how many patrons can be in the clubhouse at any one time.
The weather forecast indicates that we will have rain over the weekend. Given its synthetic surface, Gore Hill Oval will remain open, with play suspended only if lightning is seen in the vicinity.
For our home games at ELS Hall Park and our away games at other venues please look for advice from Team Managers and check updates here: http://wetweathercheck.com
Brian JacksonCOVID Safety Officer
The longest ever pre-season is about to come to an end with Round 1 finally here.
As we all know, to minimise the risk of further disruptions to the season we need to do all we can to stay COVID-Safe.
On Thursday 16 July, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant wrote to community sports organisations directing them to exclude participants if they have visited Victoria in the 14 days prior to that date or have attended any reported case locations in NSW during the dates and times identified by health authorities.
The reported case locations in NSW and the identified dates and times are published and updated here:https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates
Dr Chant also directed community sports organisations to take steps to minimise the number of spectators attending community sports events. To comply with this direction, the AFL has determined that only one parent/carer per player should attend matches and training sessions.
On Friday 17 July the AFL sent an email to the nominated email address for all registered Auskickers and junior/youth players in Sydney providing this updated advice. The AFL has also directed all Clubs to reinforce this advice and communicate it once more to parents, and we are doing that here.
So, in addition to the existing hygiene and social distancing protocols that we have been communicating in recent weeks and which can be found at www.aflnswact.com.au/return-to-play, please be advised of and comply with the following directions:
1. Anybody who has visited Victoria since Thursday 2 July or has attended any reported case location in NSW during the dates and times identified are to stay away from all training sessions and matches and to follow the appropriate NSW Health advice.2. Only one parent/carer per player should attend matches and training sessions. The advice is: “Arrive, Play, Leave”.
And please remember snd observe the other rules: wash or sanitise hands regularly, do not share drinks or food, maintain social distancing, avoid non-essential contact, and stay away if you are sick or have flu-like symptoms.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns you can contact me on 0416 721 173 or at email@example.com
Wildcats COVID Safety Officer
Due to the uncertainty of numbers allowed for public gatherings, physical distancing requirements, etc, the club’s committee has decided to not hold Gear Day this year as it could introduce unnecessary risk to our club as there can be large numbers of people attending Gear Day at any point in time.
For those wishing to purchase any club apparel, this now can be done online at the Club Shop on the website https://wildcatsafl.com/club-shop/
Orders will be packaged up each week and distributed via your AGC.
A reminder that you will need to purchase club shorts and socks as a minimum, all other items are optional, we will provide jerseys closer to round 1 which is still expected to be 19 July.
There is an online form in the shop for families to send through enquiries regarding apparel. Items can be exchanged or refunded as long as they are in the same condition as it was sent to you.
As there is no Gear Day, Mobile Mouthguards will not be at GHO to talk custom mouthguard fittings. If you still want a custom fitted mouthguard, you can contact Anthony Adaimy at Mobile Mouthguards 7 The Strand Croydon NSW 2132, 97156567 or 0414585427, firstname.lastname@example.org
This is Brian Jackson, Club Secretary. Starting this week I have taken on the role of the Wildcats COVID Safety Officer. This message is quite long but it has a lot of important information.
We are on the way to a Return to Play. AFL NSW/ACT are working hard and planning for a truncated but still substantial season, at this stage likely starting in July and finishing late September. If all goes well, we will get a good block of football played in coming months. Auskick will also resume once the season starts.
But first there will be a resumption of training for our youth and junior teams, starting with small groups of 10. The NSW Government has relaxed restrictions and Willoughby Council has now approved a return to formal training sessions at Gore Hill as soon as we have a proper framework in place.
The AFL has given us the framework to follow and it is up to us a Club to implement that framework.
The main page to check out on the AFL website is here:
The official statement from the AFL is here:
And the Framework is here:
The Framework provides a detailed set of protocols across three areas.
- Training Protocols – these specify what training sessions will look like.
- Hygiene Protocols – these specify what hygiene practices and standards must be followed.
- Education Protocols – these specify what everyone in the club needs to know before training resumes.
This email is a key part of the Education Protocols. In order to resume training we have to make sure everyone is informed on and complies with the guidelines and rules laid out in the Framework. Coaches, officials, parents, and players all need to be on board with this.
Full details of the Training Protocols and Hygiene Protocols are in the Framework linked to above, but we can summarise the key points.
Training sessions will be three groups of 10 (including players and coach) on an oval at any one time, with no mixing between groups, no physical contact between participants, 1.5 metre social distancing, a log to record attendance, and no equipment other than footballs and cones. Parents are to keep off the field and maintain social distance. There is also no access to change rooms and players are expected to turn up ready to train. The message is: Get in, Train, Get Out.
A schedule for training sessions for each Age Group will be arranged soon. Age-Group Coordinators and coaches will manage attendance. With only 30 people allowed on the field at any one time it will be a difficult challenge accommodating all our players and there will be some system used in each age group to manage this. Please bear with us.
The Framework’s Hygiene Protocols are straight-forward and in line with what has been adopted in schools and elsewhere. Hand sanitiser will be provided at training sessions and footballs will be wiped before and after sessions. No physical contact, no spitting, cough/sneeze appropriately, no sharing of water bottles etc, no access to change rooms, stay away if you are unwell or have been in contact with someone who is unwell.
Coaches will be briefed on all of this in more detail in a videoconference on Monday night. And once training resumes, coaches will brief and remind players about the protocols before each session. But parents also need to be aware of what needs to happen, so please make sure you are clear about that is in this email and consult the linked documents for more detail.
The AFL’s Framework recommends that clubs implement a minimum one-week “Preparation and Education Stage” before training resumes. For the Wildcats, this stage started Thursday May 21st when the Committee discussed the Framework and appointed me as COVID Safety Officer. This email also represents an important step in this stage, as will the coaches’ videoconference on Monday May 25th. We have also been in touch with Willoughby Council to let them know what the plan is and what we are doing to fulfil the plan.
All this means that we are on track to resume training at Gore Hill by the end of the month as long as everyone is clear about what they need to do and we all follow through. We are aiming to have training sessions on weekday afternoons, Sundays (until the season begins), and potentially Saturdays at an alternative venue for at least a few weeks.
These plans for a return to training apply to our youth and junior teams. Auskick, unfortunately, is not yet ready to return under the AFL’s Framework. Our expectation is that Auskick will resume once the playing season starts and so we are hoping that it will take place from sometime in July until sometime in September. We will let you know as soon as we have more information.
The Framework also recommends that everyone involved with the club downloads the COVID-SAFE app it they have not already done so. The ability to trace contacts once training resumes will be an important element of making this safe and minimising the risk that tighter restrictions will be re-introduced. The app can be accessed here:
Everyone – but particularly coaches and officials – are also encouraged to complete online training about COVID safety. The online module does not take long to complete but having a large number of our community doing it will demonstrate the Club’s commitment to making sure that our operations comply with public health guidleines. The training can be accessed here:
So that’s the plan. As COVID Safety Officer I will be the main contact for all of this, but will also have other officials assisting me. If you have any queries or concerns about the plan, please get in touch at email@example.com or on 0416 721173. If you complete the online training module, please email your certificate of completion to me at this email address.
This message and the links in it will be going up on a dedicated page of our website, and we will continue to update that page and send further emails as required.
Dear Parents and Players,
You may be aware that the AFL has issued an updated statement with its position on COVID-19, which can be found here.
The start of the 2020 season has been postponed to 31 May 2020. In addition to the postponement of Auskick and junior and youth footy games, the AFL’s decision also means that pre-season practice matches, training sessions and other AFL-related activities are now also cancelled.
Clearly, that is disappointing but not surprising. As you know, we had already made the decision to cancel all club-related activities. Having now heard from the AFL about postponement of the season, I can confirm that Gear Day on 22 March is now also cancelled.
We will keep working through various club-related issues over the coming weeks in preparation for the delayed start to the season. We will also continue to update you regarding developments as necessary. In the meantime, the AFL has issued some FAQs, which might answer some of the questions you may have.
President Willoughby Wildcats JAFC
0410 296 587
Willoughby Wildcats JAFL
PO Box 438
St Leonards Nsw 1590