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8th June, 2020
Dear GNA members,
After forwarding the GNA proposed timeline and explanation email on Friday to Club Secretaries and Presidents I felt it was a good idea to follow up with a letter to our members and that we can place on our social media and website with season updates. This allows our members to also follow the process of where were we are up to with regards to the 2020 season. I am blessed to have an incredibly supportive executive that are committed to providing a safe environment for our members and their families. Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we navigate our way with the constant changes and information we receive almost daily. Your support and patience is very much appreciated.

An executive meeting was held on Monday 1st June to discuss the timeline. Again, the meeting was lengthy with a lot to get through, the timeline was created and the next day further announcements were made from the NSW Government which affected our original proposed timeline.

We then had to have the Executive vote via email on additional options to present to you.

You will notice some information on the proposed timeline, which is attached, crossed out, but we wanted to leave it there for you to see that we were supporting our clubs and thinking outside the square and allowing our Club Executive more time to prepare their training programs and risk assessments. My understanding is Council grounds are still CLOSED at this stage and Council will require GNA’s risk assessment and booking notification to allow training and competition to commence.

The thought process pushing training back from 15/6 to 18/7 would allow children to settle into school, movements of families over the June long weekend, school holidays and to monitor if there was second outbreak of COVID. In light of the government announcing junior community sport can go ahead this seemed a logical option to allow any junior teams wanting to participate in the competition to commence training 2 weeks training prior to week 1 and after the school holidays.

At this stage it is important to mention that the AIS Framework for the Resumption of Community Sport Level A, B & C. Summary for Netball Below.
Full details click on link https://www.ais.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/730374/35845_AIS-Framework-for-Rebooting-Sport-Summary.pdf

FRAMEWORK FOR THE RESUMPTION OF SPORT AND RECREATION ACTIVITIES

The resumption of sport and recreation activities will be a complex process. A careful stepwise process needs to be implemented to ensure the safety of athletes and other personnel and the wider community.

High level descriptors of three levels (Levels A, B, C) of activities and associated hygiene measures are recommended. Detailed descriptions of recommended sport specific activities at each level are outlined in Appendices A and B.

Preparation for resumption includes education of the athletes and other personnel, assessment of the sport environment and agreement on training scheduling to accommodate social distancing. The approach to training should focus on ‘get in, train, get out’, minimising unnecessary contact in change rooms, bathrooms and communal areas. Prior to resumption, sporting organisations should have agreed protocols in place for management of illness in athletes and other personnel. Special consideration should be made for para-athletes and others with medical conditions as they may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. Clubs and individuals should apply a graded return to mitigate injury risk, understanding that sudden increase in training load will predispose to injury.

The timing of progression between levels may be influenced by any evidence of transmission issues within the local community or sporting cohort.

Individuals should not return to sport if in the last 14 days they have been unwell or had contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19. Any individual with respiratory symptoms (even if mild) should be considered a potential case and must immediately self-isolate, have COVID-19 excluded and be medically cleared by a doctor to return to the training environment.

Athletes returning to sport after COVID-19 infection require special consideration prior to resumption of high intensity physical activity. While there is increasing research on the multi-organ nature of COVID-19 in the acute phase, there is currently limited research on medium to long-term complications. Long-term decreased exercise capacity has been noted following previous related coronavirus infections — Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Sudden increase in training load predispose to injury and a graded return should be considered.

Resumption of sporting activity may not be linear. Increasing restrictions may be required in response to fluctuating numbers of COVID-19 cases. Sporting organisations need to be flexible to accommodate and respond to changes in community transmission rates and the associated changes in advice from Public Health Authorities.”

Current COVID restrictions & Information

Recommended Level A, B, C activities for community and individual sport
Information from: ais.gov.au

General Description
Level A
Activity that can be conducted by a solo athlete or by pairs where at least 1.5m can always be maintained between participants. No contact between athletes and/or other personnel. Examples for all sports — general fitness aerobic and anaerobic (e.g. running, cycling sprints, hills).
Strength and sport-specific training permitted if no equipment required, or have access to own equipment (e.g. ergometer, weights).
Online coaching and resources (e.g. videos, play books).

Level B As per Level A plus:
Indoor/outdoor activity that can be conducted in small groups (not more than 10 athletes and/or other personnel in total) and with adequate spacing (1 person per 4m2).
Some sharing of sporting equipment permitted such as kicking a football, hitting a tennis ball, use of a skipping rope, weights, mats.
Non-contact skills training. Accidental contact may occur but no deliberate body contact drills. No wrestling, holding, tackling or binding.
Commercial gyms, bootcamps, yoga, Pilates, dance classes (e.g. barre, ballet, hip hop, not partnered), cycling ‘spin’ classes permitted if other measures (above) are met.

Level C: as per Level A & B plus:
Full sporting activity that can be conducted in groups of any size including full contact (competition, tournaments, matches). Wrestling, holding, tackling and/or binding
(e.g. rugby scrums) permitted.
For larger team sports, consider maintaining some small group separation at training.
For some athletes full training will be restricted by commercial operation of facilities.
General hygiene measures

Level A
No sharing of exercise equipment or communal facilities.
Apply personal hygiene measures even when training away from group facilities — hand hygiene regularly during training (hand sanitisers) plus strictly pre and post training. Do not share drink bottles or towels. Do not attend training if unwell (contact doctor).
Spitting and clearing of nasal/respiratory secretions on ovals or other sport settings must be strongly discouraged.

Level B
Communal facilities can be used after a sport-specific structured risk assessment and mitigation process
is undertaken.
‘Get in, train and get out’ — be prepared for training prior to arrival at venue (minimise need to use/gather in change rooms, bathrooms). Minimise use of communal facilities (e.g. gym, court) with limited numbers (not more than
10 athletes/staff in total). Have cleaning protocols in place for equipment and facilities.
Hand hygiene (hand sanitisers) on entry and exit to venues, as well as pre, post and during training. Thorough full body shower with soap before and after training (preferably at home). Where possible maintain distance of at least 1.5m while training.
No socialising or group meals.
Spitting and clearing of nasal/respiratory secretions on ovals or other sport settings must be strongly discouraged.

Level C
Return to full use of sporting facilities. Continue hygiene and cleaning measures as per Level B.
If any massage beds are being used, hygiene practices should include no bed linen except single use towels. Cleaning of treatment beds and key surfaces should occur before and after each athlete treatment. Appropriate hand hygiene before and after each treatment.
Limit unnecessary social gatherings.
Spitting and clearing of nasal/respiratory secretions on ovals or other sport settings must be strongly discouraged.
Spectators, additional personnel
Level A
No spectators unless required (e.g. parent or carer).

Level B
Separate spectators from athletes. Spectators should maintain social distancing of at least 1.5m.

Level C
Minimum contact of non-essential surfaces to occur and hands on treatment should be kept to essential only.
Non-essential personnel should be discouraged from entering change rooms

Please see below the netball specific level’s form the AIS.

Netball Level A: CURRENT LEVEL

At training players are allowed to perform:
Running /aerobic / agility training (solo), resistance training (solo) skills training (solo), including shooting (outdoor or own ring only) or ball skills (eg. Against a wall to self)

Netball Level B : CURRENT LEVEL

Skills using netball passing, shooting, defending
Small group training (not more than 10 athletes/staff in total) based on skills with set drills, but no close contact / defending / attacking / match play drills.

Netball Level C : for juniors 1/7/20
Full training and competition.

GNA proposed junior club training commencing 18/7/20.

GNA proposed junior competition starting Saturday 1/8/20.

We have added the proposed junior competition, but we are unable to say if this will go ahead in August. Running a junior competition will be dependent on the State Government and further Netball NSW guidelines to be released about junior competitions in NSW. The information currently on hand from the NSW Government indicates that only 100 participants can attend the venue at this stage with a maximum of 10 team members per court including the coaching staff and no parents. The maximum courts we could use for training is 10.

Unfortunately, in relation to a senior competition (18 years and over) this will be decided by NSW Government at a later stage.

Clubs are starting to carry out surveys and contact members and coaches with regards to the 2020 season. It will be OPTIONAL for all members to play or withdraw. Your club will require this information by 28th June 2020 for team re-submissions to open to GNA 29th June 2020 as per the GNA proposed timeline.

There are many members wanting to play and almost as many wanting to cancel the 2020 season. This is your choice! This is your opportunity to make the decision that best suits your family.

Your fees are made up of 3 portions. 1. Netball NSW, 2. GNA & 3. Club levy. The GNA Executive have agreed to refund the GNA portion/levy of fees to all members that withdraw for the 2020 season.

I am unable to respond with regards to any 2020 Netball NSW refunds (levy/portion of your fees) but attached is a letter sent to Carolyn Campbell and Darren Simpson from Netball NSW requesting leniency for refunds on behalf on any GNA members unable to play this season or if the season is unable to go ahead for the Netball NSW portion of fees.

As we have a lot more that 10 junior teams registered our junior GNA competition further clarification is required on how this could be managed. We are hopeful we could get some netball on the courts this year, but it really is not as easy as it sounds right now and everyday there is a new development. We are working with clubs to provide safe drop off and pickup up zones for training and mandatory risk assessment prior to any training commencing.

I have thought long and hard about an alternative option to a competition should this not be able to go ahead in August 2020. My idea along with Kerry Allard is to run super Saturday skill sessions for junior players. This would allow our juniors wanting to be involved in netball on a Saturday the opportunity to come for an hour work with some of the associations best coaches and develop their individual skills. Along with specific defence and shooting areas. Not only would this keep kids involved in netball but would raise the skill level of our players and therefore make a better competition for 2021. Coaches could also attend to learn new drills and ideas for team training.

If there is anyone who has any concerns with regards to club training and or proposed junior competition, please contact your club secretary. We are holding a Presidents zoom meeting Tuesday 9th June 2020 to discuss the proposed timeline.

I thank you again for your understanding and patience there are many factors that are out of our hands at this stage and we want to keep you well informed as much as possible.

Kind regards
Belinda Beresford
GNA President
Gosford Netball Association Inc.