With the significant announcements on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) by the New Zealand Government over the last few days, we appreciate that many of you will be wondering what this means for sport - both club and school sport.
Sport Waikato takes the COVID-19 issue seriously and believes that the Government’s strategy aimed at prevention and containment is the key to minimising the risk of infection.
While the current Government recommendations in regards to mass gatherings (over 500 people) are to cancel these large events, Sport Waikato has had enquiries regarding our stance on sporting/active events, competition and group gatherings under 500 people.
While we still want everyone to continue to be out there and active, we recommend that you contact your local Regional Sporting Organisation (eg. Waikato Hockey, Waikato Rugby Union etc) or National Sporting Organisation where there is no local body for their specific current stance on their sporting competitions and group gatherings. The Regional Sporting Organisations and clubs will be receiving updated information from their national sporting bodies and be in the best position to provide you with the most up to date decisions.
These organisations should be following and assessing their own risks using the recommended Government guidelines, which we believe is the right approach. As an example we know that School Sport NZ has justannounced that all events on the School Sport NZ National calendar have been suspended, and other codes are also releasing statements.
It is important to note that these are unprecedented times and so it is highly likely that the guidelines we are being provided with today will change over time – there is no playbook for what the world is dealing with at present and so we must be guided by the medical expertise provided by our Government and act on and within the advice we are given.
Sport Waikato’s recommendation is that for the sake of our physical, mental, social and spiritual health the community continues to remain active, but does so in a socially responsible way - minimise group gatherings where you possibly can, and keep up to date with and follow the guidelines from the Ministry of Health.
Ensure that you also follow the recommended preventative measures including washing hands and minimising personal contact, which you can find here.
Our rangatahi are trying to tell us something: whatever we are doing to encourage them to choose physical activity is not working for them.
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