AFL Sydney Community Football Update
We hope this note finds you and your family safe and well in an incredibly challenging time for us all.
The last week has been a difficult one for the AFL Sydney team with the AFL, and by extension AFL NSW/ACT, announcing the temporary stand down of many of its staff from Monday, 30 March 2020 until Sunday, 31 May 2020. As detailed by our acting CEO Tiffany Robertson, these significant actions are needed at this time to ensure the viability of our game at all levels as we manage the impact of COVID-19 on our industry.
We wish to advise that during this period Simon Wilson, Regional Manager – Sydney, will be the contact for AFL Sydney Senior Clubs and Sydney Harbour Junior Clubs. Rebecca Marshall, Regional Manager – GWS, will be the contact for all Greater Western Sydney Junior Clubs. The rest of our AFL Sydney staff are being stood down for the temporary period.
Simon and Rebecca will be working in a reduced capacity (3 days per week) during this time. We will have the support of a small team of AFL NSW/ACT state and national AFL staff in addition; and ask for your patience and understanding during this period as we navigate our reduced work arrangements.
We have had good discussions with many of you regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our broader football community and ways to assist our many stakeholder groups during this challenging period. The organisation is committed to continuing to provide regular updates, tools and resources as well as new and unique content to engage our football family during this period.
The entire AFL Sydney team, are looking forward to supporting the pending 2020 AFL Sydney season as soon as we are back on deck.
At this time, we would also like to take this opportunity to provide some important updates around Club Training Requirements, a reminder to visit Toyota AFL Club Help and introduce you to the Club Financial Tool the AFL have been working on for community clubs.
Club Training Requirements
We would again like to reiterate that as a result of the May 31 Community Football postponement for all AFL managed leagues (which includes AFL Sydney), it is the AFL’s position that club training should not be taking place up until this time (unless advised otherwise by the AFL). Clubs should not be arranging for players to come together in small groups to complete AFL training as this is not in line with the AFL’s position and it also goes against the government’s social distancing requirements that are currently in place. In addition, all clubs should be sending the same message to their members to encourage them to follow government advice and play their role in limited the spread of COVID-19. We understand that clubs want to keep their players engaged and training in anticipation for when the season may re-commence, however given the current status of COVID-19, players should only be completing their own individual training in environments that are in line with the government mandated social distancing expectations.
Furthermore, we have recently received advice that clubs are at risk of not being covered for Public Liability Insurance in the case of the virus being spread at club training sessions, while the Personal Accident policy does not cover sickness or illness. We believe this would also apply to clubs arranging for players to come together in small groups for the purposes of social interactions.
We understand this is a really challenging time for all Australians and keeping connected during a time like this is so important, but again making formal arrangements for players to physically come together goes against the AFL’s position of no club events taking place, does not support the government’s expectations in regards to social distancing, and potentially puts your club and its members at risk.
Toyota AFL club help
A reminder that all clubs have access to https://www.afl.com.au/clubhelp
The new online platform has been developed to support community football personnel and volunteers by providing best practice resources for running a club successfully. We strongly encourage all clubs to access this valuable resource, particularly over the coming weeks.
COVID-19 AFL Community Club Response tool
The foundations of our game are built on community football, with strong and sustainable community clubs. At a time when community football is facing unpresented challenges, the AFL and State and Territory Associations have a shared responsibility to prioritise community club sustainability.
To help your club understand the impact a competition delay will have on club finances, the AFL has worked with TD Solutions on a ‘COVID-19 Community Club Response tool’ to help guide clubs through this process. Please click here to view a guide detailing how you can access and use this tool.
Furthermore, we are working on measures to help reduce key club expenses such as insurance, affiliation fees, ground hire, umpire fees and where relevant, coaching and player payments, and will continue to provide updates on the national recommendation for these expenses in addition to the information provided on page 6 and 7 of the guide.
In terms of revenue, several clubs have asked if they can keep accepting registrations. While the national recommendation is to freeze registrations due to the uncertainty of what the season will look like, we acknowledge accepting new registrations is a club decision and provided both parties (the club and the player) are comfortable to proceed with a registration then there will be no sanctions for continuing to register players.
Please remember that the most up to date information in relation to the latest COVID-19 Community Football FAQs can be found at Play.afl here: https://play.afl/covid-19/faqs
Please be rest assured that AFL NSW/ACT will continue to work to diligently through the impact of the COVID-19 situation in Australia and how it affects the sustainability of our industry during these uncertain times. I acknowledge that you and the broader football community are feeling it with the significant uncertainty surrounding when footy will return across the state and territory, and what that means for us all. We encourage you during this uncertain time to continue to exercise social distancing and all the important recommendations set by the Australian local, state and government authorities.
If you require further information on any of the above information you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to either Rebecca or Simon as indicated, their details have been listed below.
Simon Wilson – email@example.com
Rebecca Marshall – firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay Safe & Well,
The AFL Sydney Team