Hockey Australia (HA), has begun consultation with its Member Associations (MA’s), the planning for a 2020 hockey season to take place being the order of the day. As Australia continues to flatten the curve of Coronavirus fatalities, there is good optimism and excitement about the prospect of hockey being played even this year.
Hockey Australia CEO Matt Favier reiterated the primary focus for HA and every MA continues to be on getting local competitions started up again, and he is feeling positive about the recent commentary by government authorities.
“While we understand this is a really difficult time, that there is still a level of uncertainty and it is premature to set any specific dates on when hockey will recommence, we are excited by the progress that is being made and the direction Australia as a nation is heading in with regards to this pandemic,” said Favier.
“Hockey Australia and the MA’s have started planning for when the green light is given for community sport to resume, which has been announced as one of the Federal Government’s priorities, and we are hopeful that it is a case of when and not if.”
“The MA’s have shown outstanding leadership and cohesion during this extremely challenging time, and the decisions being made through this process have been with the betterment of hockey and all of its stakeholders at the core.”
“The wider hockey community has also been extremely supportive and unified in navigating through this period, highlighting the collective strength of our sport. We will continue to aim to provide them with as much information as possible as things change.”
“As we look to the months ahead with the hope that hockey will be back sooner rather than later, it remains critical that everyone continues their diligence in following the strict government and medical directives.”
Importantly, various restrictions remain in place until further notice, and HA will continue to monitor, and act accordingly, in response to statements and policies set out by both Federal and State/Territory Health authorities. Hockey Australia is suggesting all members of its community to download the Government’s COVIDSafe app as well as continue best hygiene practices such as washing hands regularly and social distancing.
While each Member Association is guided by their individual state/territory jurisdictions, which means the timing of a resumption could vary in different parts of the country, Hockey Australia continues to be in regular contact with Sport Australia who are in the process of developing ‘return to play’ guidelines for the time when hockey and sport will be in a position to safely return.
Meanwhile member associations will continue to communicate and inform their respective associations and clubs of updates and developments.