Local football clubs given 10-point checklist by WA Football Commission to return to training post coronavirus crisis
Steve Butler – The West Australian
Friday, 22 May 2020
Pic: Michael Wilson 20/05/20 Credit: Michael Wilson/The West Australian, Michael Wilson
Football clubs across WA have been told to commit to a 10-point coronavirus checklist if they want to get back on the field.
As West Coast and Fremantle players prepare to return to full-contact training from Monday, community clubs have been warned to follow strict rules under the theme of “get in, train, get out”.
They demand that training groups have up to only 20 players, no contact drills, 1.5m social distancing and there must be strict hygiene protocols.
Changing rooms cannot be used, footballs are the only equipment allowed, club leaders must complete online coronavirus infection education and clubs must keep a register of all participants. They also need to seek local government approval to use facilities
Troy Kirkham, the WA Football Commission’s youth, community and game development manager, used a line from former Dockers coach Ross Lyon’s book to explain the strict regime that has been put in place.
Members of the Cushing family are itching to get back out on the field with the Coolbinia Bombers. Credit: Michael Wilson/The West Australian
“Ross used to say you support the player, but challenge the behaviour,” Mr Kirkham said.
“Similarly, we’re supporting the clubs, but challenging their behaviour and it’s really important that it’s an education piece.
“We’re not out there to whack clubs, we’re there to work with them to get them back on the park as quickly as we can.
“It’s really exciting to get everyone back training and reconnecting with their mates and having that health and well-being aspect through physical activity.
“Footy has always been at the centre of communities and can be the heart and soul of a town and if everyone does the right thing, we’ll be back playing sooner rather than later.”
Coolbinia Junior Football Club was one of many clubs to restart training this week and president Rob Geersen said that members had happily taken the new rules on board.
“It’s important for the kids, but it’s also important for our community … this is a hub for a lot of us,” Mr Geersen said.
“Being able to get back to support each other and get out again to do what we do is critical. It’s just that next step and gives us optimism for the days ahead because it’s been a pretty ordinary time.”
Coolbinia registrar Chloe Cushing said her four children between five and 13 years of age had been desperate to return to training.
“They’re extremely excited and they’ve been watching all of the updates and social media to see when they could play again,” she said.
“It’s all I’ve heard about, to be honest and there have been a few little tantrums so it’s good to be back,” she said.
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This post was written by Coolbinia Bombers