MM COVID-19 UPDATE: RESUMPTION OF SPORT IN AUSTRALIAN LIFE

MM COVID-19 UPDATE: RESUMPTION OF SPORT IN AUSTRALIAN LIFE

GOVERNMENT RELEASES THE NATIONAL PRINCIPLES FOR THE RESUMPTION OF SPORT AND RECREATION ACTIVITIES .

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s no secret that all amateur and professional sports competitions have been suspended.

With the number of COVID-19 cases drastically reducing over the last month, the Australian Government has given sport loving Aussies a glimmer of hope by releasing the 15 National Principles for the resumption of sports and recreation activities.

The toll of the COVID-19 shutdowns on Australian professional sport has been well publicised The NRL and A-League are facing major turmoil, with sponsorship deals up in the air, drastic staff reductions and players facing unlikely futures, Australian Rugby has requested a $16 million bail out from World Rugby and the AFL continues to record losses due to the shutdown.

The impact has also been keenly felt by local and community sports associations with many facing uncertainty on how to restart their competitions, if possible.

The Government has released the key principles that sporting associations must pay special attention to as restrictions begin to wind back. These include:

  • Resumption of sport and recreation activities will be based on objective health information to ensure they are conducted safely and do not risk increased COVID-19 local transmission rates.
  • All decisions about resumption of sport and recreation activities must take place with careful reference to these National Principles following close consultation with Federal, State/Territory and/or Local Public Health Authorities, as relevant. 
  • Resumption of community sport and recreation activity should take place in a staged fashion with an initial phase of small group (10) activities including full contact training/ competition in sport. Individual jurisdictions will determine progression through these phases, taking account of local epidemiology, risk mitigation strategies and public health capability.
    • This includes the resumption of children’s outdoor sport with strict physical distancing measures for non-sporting attendees such as parents.
    • This includes the resumption of outdoor recreational activities including (but not limited to) outdoor-based personal training and boot camps, golf, fishing, bush-walking, swimming, etc.
  • Significantly enhanced risk mitigation (including avoidance and physical distancing) must be applied to all indoor activities associated with outdoor sporting codes (e.g. club rooms, training facilities, gyms etc).
  • The risks associated with large gatherings are such that, for the foreseeable future, elite sports, if recommenced, should do so in a spectator-free environment with the minimum support staff available to support the competition. Community sport and recreation activities should limit those present to the minimum required to support the participants (e.g. one parent or carer per child if necessary).

The full list of the Government’s 15 National Principles for the resumption of sports and recreation activities can be found here.

In order to assist sporting associations, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has provided a framework on how to reboot sports during COIVD-19, which can be found here.

However, the onus remains with local and community sporting associations to ensure resumption plans are actioned and that all of the ’s principles are strictly followed.

Our team of sports law experts can arrange and review your associations resumption plan to ensure it follows the Government’s national principles so that all players, staff member and spectators remain safe through the COVID-19 outbreak. Please click here to contact us.

Madison Marcus is closely monitoring all developments relating to the COVID-19 Crisis and how they can affect our clients. You can keep up to date with the advice from our experts in relation to legal  and business issues that have arisen so far by subscribing to our E-Alerts here.

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