UNSW-Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs
New guidelines represent a step closer to the return of community sport, but the Premier has urged everyone to stay vigilant


Following the national cabinet meeting on Friday 8 May, the AIS released the following statement in connection to the Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment:

"The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and Sport Australia welcome the update on Friday 8 May from National Cabinet on the three-step plan to ease the current restrictions in place as a result of COVID-19.

The release of the three-step plan is a positive step towards the reintroduction of sport and recreation, which links to the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment and we know will be welcomed by many Australians.

It is important to reiterate that all sport and recreation resumption decisions must be based on State and Territory COVID-19 public health advice. Links to those relevant authorities are listed below. Sports and athletes should follow the public health regulations issued by their local jurisdiction.

The AIS team, led by Chief Medical Officer, Dr David Hughes, developed the AIS Reboot Framework in collaboration with sport CMOs around Australia and in consultation with the Federal Government’s CMOs. The Framework underpins the National Principles for the Resumption of Sport and Recreation Activities, and has been adopted by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and National Cabinet as the guide for the reintroduction of sport and recreation."

On Sunday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian responded to the national cabinet decisions with an announcement about this first phase of easing restrictions will be applied in NSW. From Friday 15 May, outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted and the use of outdoor pools and gym equipment will also be allowed.

While this does not mean a full scale return to community sport, there are positive signs for the community and a small step towards Level B of the AIS Framework. It will allow small groups members of sports clubs to meet up and complete home training programs together, which is vital in re-establishing connections between club members and will bring with it important mental health benefits.

The premier warned of complacency and urged people to take the easing of restrictions seriously and not use them as an excuse to make a full return to 'normal' life.

“I want to say this to the community – if there is evidence or if there is data that shows a huge spike, then we have to go backwards,” she said. “Similarly, if the data shows us that we’re doing better than expected, we can move forward a bit faster.”

“The virus is as deadly, it is as contagious, it is as virulent as it’s always been,” she said. “The only difference between May and March is the fact that we have far less cases in May. We need to keep it that way.”

As our community this time to reconnect with friends and teammates, it is important to do so in a safe and physically distant manner. Complying with the protocols and re-establishing community sport safely and gently will allow for a bigger and better return as soon as it is viable to do so.