Stringent rules will be in place as rugby union and other Northern Rivers sporting codes return to training in the coming weeks. Photo Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus
Stringent rules will be in place as rugby union and other Northern Rivers sporting codes return to training in the coming weeks. Photo Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus

Strict rules for a safe return to sport

STRICT rules and new procedures will be in place as rugby union, soccer and other Northern Rivers sporting codes return to training in the coming weeks.

Rugby and soccer got the green light and have gone back this week with training limited to groups of 10 with no contact work until coronavirus restrictions ease further.

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Players have been told to turn up in their gear ready to train and will not be allowed to hang around in groups before or after the session.

In most cases they have to inform a coach or club manager ahead of time if they are attending and will need to register attendance on the night.

Players will need to use their own drink bottles with no high fives, hugs or other close contact activities permitted.

Clubs warned about injuries when contact sport returns

To help coaches and players adjust to the new regulations, Sport Australia has launched a toolkit to give clubs and associations a roadmap for the safest return to sport at all levels.

It has comprehensive checklists, adaptable COVID-19 safety plans and templates that can be used by sporting organisations at any level.

It is in step with the Australian Institute of Sport Framework and the Australian government’s national principles for the resumption of sport and recreation activities.

“The Toolkit works through four stages of return to sport: Prevent, Prepare, Respond and Recover,” Sport Australia chief executive Rob Dalton said.

“In the Prevent stage, it concentrates on steps like getting your COVID-19 Safety Plan in place and communicating that with members.

“Practical steps in the Prepare stage are looking at safe facility practises, like hand-sanitisers, attendance registers at training and limiting shared equipment as much as possible.

“Sports also need to be prepared for illness management, noting things can change quickly in your local area, which is covered by the Respond and Recover stages.

“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.”

The Return to Sport Toolkit can be downloaded at sportaus.gov.au/return-to-sport.


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