Guiding the return of community sport

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The benefits of exercise and regular activity on physical and mental health ­– particularly during the COVID-19 lockdown – are very clear.

Numerous reports, studies and health professionals have continuously shed light on the positive benefits of regular exercise.

And while COVID-19 lockdown measures have meant to gyms, fitness centres and community sport have had to take a backseat as the nation sought out to ‘flatten the curve’, with some restrictions starting to easing, Sport Australia has launched a suite of practical resources for community sporting clubs and associations to help ensure the safest return to sport at all levels.

Developed by Sport Australia, in partnership with Hockey Australia, the Return to Sport Toolkit provides comprehensive checklists and adaptable COVID-19 safety plans and templates that can be used by sporting organisations at any level.

“The main thing I want to emphasise to all sport and participants is that public health the most important consideration – advice from your Government health authorities is paramount,” says Sport Australia Acting CEO, Rob Dalton.

“I urge all sporting participants not to jump the starting gun without first the consent of your relevant State and Territory Government health authorities.

“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 it is done in a safe, responsible and low risk manner so that we can keep moving forward towards the full resumption of sport.”

Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck adds: “Sporting clubs and organisations across Australia will play an enormous part in getting the nation back on track as we recover from the impact of COVID-19.”

The Return to Sport Toolkit is in step with the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment and the Australian Government’s National principles for the resumption of sport and recreation activities.

To download the Return to Sport Toolkit, visit: sportaus.gov.au/return-to-sport.