On behalf of the Hockey Victoria Board & Management I provide the following update with regards to the up and coming 2020 competition season.
Firstly, we would like to extend our thoughts to the 700 playing members who reside in the suburbs currently in lock down. Community sport training and competition cannot occur within a restricted postcode, so for the time being you cannot participate in hockey training at all.
Secondly, we would like to acknowledge the clubs directly impacted by this situation in particular Essendon, PEGS, Footscray, Brunswick, Craigieburn and Hume. Some of the club venues located in restricted postcodes – these venues are closed. I am sure the broader hockey community will do all in their power to support the affected clubs and individuals.
Thirdly, we would like to acknowledge the outstanding work of all of the club administrators in working with you, the participant over the last two months to assemble teams and get back to training.
There is unprecedented interest from our community to get back out and play hockey where it is safe to do so and I am personally delighted to see such a high number of team entries given the circumstances. We also acknowledge that there may be people that disagree with the decision to proceed with the 2020 season. There may also be some who do not feel comfortable participating this year. We absolutely respect this, but we want to provide people with the opportunity to make their own decision on whether they participate in the 2020 season.
You are all a passionate bunch and I am really proud of the response from our community.
We all continue to be challenged in 2020 through the events of COVID-19. With 66 cases reported today we are pleased to see that cases are not rising even with the significant testing program in place. We are also buoyed by the fact there are very low numbers of cases throughout the South-eastern suburbs where the majority of our participants reside.
Today management met with the clubs impacted by the post code shut down and have worked through a range of practical solutions to ensure we can commence the 2020 season where it is safe to do so as per the scheduled round 1 dates.
They are for the avoidance of doubt;
- Juniors – 17 July 2020
- Midweek/Masters – 20 July 2020
- Seniors – 25 July 2020
From a practicality perspective the clubs impacted by closures of their venue in most cases will be able to assemble some of their teams for the round one fixtures in seniors and midweek competitions due to the number of members who reside outside the shutdown suburbs. Some teams, from some grades will have matches re scheduled post the lockdown period. We are working closely with the impacted clubs to determine which teams will commence in line with the season start over the coming days.
From a junior perspective we will fixture the first three rounds only. This will allow us to create as many matches as possible across our junior competition between non-affected teams. Again, where possible we will look to provide the teams impacted by the shut down an opportunity to re schedule matches once the shutdown is over.
HV has concerns if we contemplate pushing the season back for all 60 competition affiliates then this may have broader impact on teams outside the shutdown areas where it is safe to train and play. So again, I wish to reiterate based on the Victorian Government’s and the Chief Medical Officers advice we will continue to encourage all of our clubs to train and prepare for the season starting in the next 2-3 weeks, while sticking to all health, safety & hygiene measures already in place.
So, in closing keep up your amazing passion for our game and keep working as hard as you can to work towards round 1 which is just around the corner.