Barnaby Joyce

Toolkit for start-up of New England sport

28 May 2020

The Coalition Government has welcomed the launch of a new toolkit aimed at ensuring community sporting clubs and associations have a clear path to competition as COVID-19 restrictions are eased. 

The suite of practical resources, provided by Sport Australia, focus on giving grassroots organisations a roadmap for the safe return to sport at all levels. 

Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the Return to Sport Toolkit, was a comprehensive checklist for sports clubs and community organisations across region. 

It will complement the National Principles for the Resumption of Sport and Recreation Activities, endorsed by the National Cabinet on 1 May. 

“The Sport Australia toolkit provides the resources and guidance local clubs across the New England need to ensure a streamlined process,” Mr Joyce said.

“We love our sport here in rural and regional Australia but the safe return of junior and senior competitions, in all towns big and small, relies on a responsible rollout where everybody takes precautions and this toolkit will help make that happen.” 

The Return to Sport Toolkit guides clubs and associations at every level to document their own COVID-19 Safety Plan and appoint a COVID Safety Co-ordinator to implement and oversee it.  

As part of the Toolkit, checklists provide practical and progressive steps such as relevant government and national sporting organisation approvals, facility management, training behaviours, hygiene protocols and appropriate communication with members. 

The National Principles along with the Australian Institute of Sport’s framework will be used to guide the staged return of activity as efforts to stop the spread of the virus continue.

The States and Territories will be responsible for sport and recreation resumption decisions, both at the professional and community level and will determine progression through the phases, taking account of local epidemiology, risk mitigation strategies and public health capability.

Minister for Youth and Sport Richard Colbeck said sporting clubs and organisations would play an enormous part in getting the New England back on track as the recovery from the impact of COVID-19 continues. 

 “We have a big challenge ahead of us but together the National Principles, AIS framework and Sport Australia’s toolkit offer tangible advice to ensure community sporting groups are prepared to control and deal with the virus in this new era,” Minister Colbeck said. 

The Return to Sport Toolkit is available at: sportaus.gov.au/return-to-sport

(ENDS)