We have been closely monitoring the situation involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This situation is rapidly changing, and it is difficult to predict how the outbreak will evolve.
What we do know is that it has the potential to have extreme and wide-ranging health, safety and socio-economic impacts across the Australian community.
The health, safety and well-being of our members and all people involved in our sport is of paramount importance to us. We also want to ensure we are doing what we can to help protect those within the Australian community that are most at risk.
With this in mind, and in consultation our State and Territory Presidents, today Polocrosse Association of Australia Inc resolved to suspend all levels (club, State and Territory and Australian) polocrosse carnivals until further notice. For all other club, State and Territory and Australian polocrosse activities such as practices, coaching and umpiring schools, we are currently reviewing the risks and implications for holding these smaller events and will provide advice on this Friday March 20th, 2020.
We appreciate that this could be viewed by some as an extreme measure. However, in circumstances which include:
- consideration of Government health advice received to date (including advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee) recommending that social distancing measures are required now, and that the current measures should be expanded;
- consideration of the fact that Government health advice and information is changing daily (currently in a direction where only tighter restrictions are being imposed); and
- that our sport, by nature, requires groups of people in varying sizes to travel long distances, groups of people camping together for prolonged periods (of up to approximately 48 hours), attendees share facilities including a canteen, showers and toilets during this period, and that our sport involves high levels of contact throughout the game, with multiple games being played over a single weekend,
Polocrosse Association of Australia Inc has decided to take a precautionary approach by implementing a suspension on all Australian based carnivals effective from midnight tonight (March 17th, 2020). This step is aimed at mitigating the health impacts of coronavirus in Australia and has been made with the health, safety and wellbeing of our members and the community front of mind, particularly those who are most vulnerable.
These measures are in addition to the recent Government directions that all non-essential mass gathering that involve, or are likely to involve, more than 500 people are not held, organised or attended.
We encourage all of our members to familiarise themselves with the information provided by the Australian Government Department of Health at health.gov.au as well as the information provided by their respective State and Territory government authorities.
We would like to thank all of you for your cooperation and understanding. These are difficult times and we appreciate that a lot of time, effort and resources is invested by each and every one of you in order to play. We hope that we can work together and support each other through these challenging times, in the spirit of our sport, which we all hold so dear.
Thank you all.
President Polocrosse Association of Australia Inc
17th March 2020