Sports training set to resume

The current Public Health Orders from the NSW government's Office of Sport do not prevent any sporting organisation from resuming training.

In an announcement made public on May 22, a spokesperson for the office said that NSW sporting organisations were free to start training immediately "as long as they comply with the Public Health Orders, including training in maximum groups of 10 people and follow the recommended physical distancing measures of 1.5 metres".

"It is up to the sporting organisations to adapt or modify their sport, to be in line with the health orders," the spokesperson said.

For sporting codes such as rugby league, union, soccer, AFL, netball and hockey, that would mean no physical contact. Ball passing and fitness work would however be permitted.

In Port Stephens, the vast majority of junior amateur sporting clubs are governed by a regional or state body which has set out its own 'return to training' guidelines. It is expected that decisions on the resumption of training would be made soon.

The NSW government has enacted several Public Health Orders which directly impact on the sport and active recreation sector.

On May 19 exemptions were granted for lawn bowling up to a maximum of 10 persons where physical distancing of 1.5 metres is maintained; and for swimming pools with a length of 25 metres or greater for squad training in line with set requirements.

For many sporting and recreation organisations, COVID-19 is having a direct financial impact on operations. A resource has been developed by the Office of Sport to provide guidance on the resources and initiatives available for organisations and will be regularly updated.

The NSW government has also confirmed that Active Kids providers may retain the funding from vouchers that have already been redeemed where a program has been cancelled due to COVID-19 or a recipient has been unable to continue with the program.

Active Kids vouchers remain valid until December 31, the spokesperson said.