COVID-19 Update from the Altona Hockey Club

Update 31st of May

There is one major update this week following the Premier’s announcement we can now train in groups of 20, rather than 10 only. The maximum number of players at the club remains the same – 20 – as does the requirement for 1.5m social distancing between all players and coaches at all times.

We have now been back at training for a week and all has been going well so far, I would like to thank all players and coaches for abiding by the guidelines and checking in and out for all sessions, as well as minimising touching of equipment and abiding social distancing. It is vital that we continue to follow the guidelines to ensure we can return to training and playing. A very important part of this is staying away if you have any (even mild) cold-like or flu-like symptoms.

Please see our updated guidelines below or here – AHC Training Guidelines 31st of May.

Stay tuned for the junior training plan shortly.

As always, any questions please get in touch at president@altonahc.org.au.

Thanks, Alex Tyrrell
President, Altona Hockey Club

Attendance links for training

We are required to track all participants at sesssions, so you will need to sign in and sign out of every session. There are QR codes on entry so you can scan and sign yourself in.

Update 23rd of May

Thank you for your patience as we have worked through all of the necessary restrictions and guidelines – but we are now happy to say we have hockey back! 

It won’t be exactly as you know it – from next week (26th of May), we will have some senior teams resuming training. Please see your team Facebook group or contact your coach for information on training. We are allowed a maximum of 20 players on the field at once, separated into groups of 10 with a coach per group – and we must maintain 1.5m social distancing during sessions. Junior and remaining senior teams training will follow in the coming weeks – keep an eye out for announcements.

The main message for players is only attend training if you have absolutely no cold-like or flu-like symptoms at all, no matter how mild, and then ‘get in, train and get out’ – this isn’t the nicest message but this is what allows us to get back to training now.

See here for the full list of AHC Return to Hockey Guidelines, we have split this up into sections for the club, coaches and players so it is easy to see what you need to do. Our continual ability to train relies on every member following these guidelines to ensure we have the health of the community at the top of our minds, so it is all of our responsibility to make sure that we follow these. 

It is also vital that we keep attendance for all sessions, so we have QR codes up at the entry (northern gate near the home changerooms) where you can scan with your phone camera and check yourself in, otherwise we are also looking for 1 volunteer per session to track this attendance digitally and perform spot cleaning of surfaces, gates, locks etc.

As always, any questions please get in touch at president@altonahc.org.au.

Thanks, Alex Tyrrell
President, Altona Hockey Club

Update 11th of May

Today the Victorian Government eased restrictions to allow outdoor sports activities with up to 10 people with strict social distancing enforced. While we are still a little way off full hockey, this is a big step forward and will allow us to have some activity at the club.

Hockey Victoria have advised they are developing hockey-specific guidelines, and the AHC Board is meeting this week for our club response – so expect an announcement within the next week about exactly what this means for us as a club.

Update 6th of May

Just a short update from me this week. The last couple of weeks have seen great results in terms of the drop in number of cases throughout Victoria and Australia and this has seen a return to hockey look more and more likely.

At this stage there is no formal update, but Hockey Victoria have been working on a number of different scenarios for competitions and a minimum viable competition of a 3-month period with the hope to be longer if possible. As a Board we are meeting again next Wednesday directly after the May 11 date that is the current expiry of the state of Emergency in Victoria to be best placed for any updates to the social distancing laws, so we will keep you updated.

There has also been updates from Hockey Australia and the AIS about returning to sport that are both linked below if you are interested to check them out.

Hockey Australia Preparing for Resumption of Hockey
AIS Framework for rebooting Sport

And as always, any questions feel free to get in touch – president@altonahc.org.au.

Thanks, Alex Tyrrell – President, Altona Hockey Club.

Update 13th of April

Hi Members,

I hope you are all keeping safe and well over the Easter Long Weekend.

An update from us at the Altona Hockey Club and the latest from Hockey Victoria. As you would know Victoria has extended its State of Emergency to the 11th of May and we are still in strict lockdown to curb the effect of the COVID-19 virus. With these measures and the government ban on social and community sport Hockey Victoria have confirmed the competition will not commence on 1 May 2020.

Obviously no one knows exactly when these measures will be able to be lifted or eased, so Hockey Victoria will be working with clubs to plan to begin the 2020 season in whatever form it takes in the 2-4 weeks from the time the government determines that community sport is safe. As a club we will keep in regular communication with you over this period, and we have been meeting regularly via video call as a Board to plan different scenarios and ensure we can do the best for the Altona Hockey Club and its members over this difficult period.

As part of this, we recognise that during these times many members will be in financial stress, so we can offer refunds to any members or parents who have already paid their AHC fees. Thank you to all members who paid in advance, and we will of course be able to use these towards the fees for 2020 – which will be determined when we are clearer on the format of the season or 2021 if needed. If you do require a refund please fill in the form here – https://www.altonahc.org.au/membership-refunds/

At this stage the Hockey Victoria and Hockey Australia registration fee is not refundable as they fully intend to run a season, and still being so early in the year it is unknown what form it will take. Hockey Victoria are also facing many challenges during this period and are scaling back their operations to ensure their survival but also to allow flexibility to scale up to deliver the season. They are working extremely hard to deliver hockey in 2020 and I want to thank and recognise their staff during this period. 

I would like to thank all members who are taking great efforts to keep their fitness up, keep their hockey skills up and engage with other members. There have already been some great stories of members organising online fitness sessions, challenges, as well as general check-ins and kindness. I really encourage all members to check-in with their teammates and friends at this time via virtual means. Continue to follow along on Instagram for some “Seagull Skillz” and remember that we can also deliver you a hockey ball if you need one to practice!

In summary;

  • Hockey postponed indefinitely until the Victorian Government announces that community sport is safe.
  • The season will start 2-4 weeks (TBC) after that date.
  • We are offering refunds for any members who have already paid their club fees.
  • Continue to be positive, keep fit and check-in with each other.

For all of our previous updates and to stay up to date with the latest visit: https://www.altonahc.org.au/covid-19-update-from-the-altona-hockey-club/.

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch – president@altonahc.org.au.

Thanks, Alex Tyrrell
President – Altona Hockey Club

Update 21st of March

Hi all,

As many of you would have seen already, Hockey Victoria have made the decision to postpone all competitions until the 1st of May and cancel or postpone the following events;

  • Junior Country Championships – cancelled for 2020
  • Women & Girls Breakfast – cancelled for 2020
  • Senior Country Championship – cancelled for 2020
  • Junior State Championships – postponed until later in 2020

You can view the full statement here and keep up to date with the latest from HV here – https://hockeyvictoria.org.au/news/covid-19-information/

In line with this information and amid the current COVID-19 outbreak, the Altona Hockey Club is ceasing all official hockey training and club activity. This includes all senior and junior training, practice games, events and Hookin2Hockey. For Hookin2Hockey participants we will be offering free makeup sessions later in the year.

The situation is changing rapidly so we will provide regular updates to all members as they come to hand, but at this stage training is stopped until after the Easter Long Weekend, and expect an update at this time.

We will also be forming a COVID-19 committee to make sure that we are across the latest government advice and considering the full impact on our club.

Thank you to the Altona Hockey Club Board for their engagement and quick response at this time, we have met via phone on short notice to discuss these measures.

While this is a crucial time in slowing the spread of the coronavirus which is the major reason behind the decision of governing bodies and government to stop group activities, we also recognise that such a big impact on the day-to-day lives of our community is likely to affect people in a number of ways. We ask that you take the time to reach out to friends and family within the hockey community via phone or virtual means and help each other through this time and stay engaged within the community.

If you are looking at staying fit and exercising on your own, you can also join the AHC Strava Group started by Kelsey Fox and Phoebe Rothfield – a great way to engage with other members: Altona Hockey Club Strava Community

We will continue to keep you up to date with the latest news as it comes to hand via all channels, and you can see all of our statements here – https://www.altonahc.org.au/covid-19-update-from-the-altona-hockey-club/

One final request is that if you have been at the AHC recently and do test positive to COVID-19, please contact me at president@altonahc.org.au – we will keep this confidential, but will endeavour to contact other members that you have been in contact with over the past few weeks.

Summary:

  • All HV Competitions postponed until 1st of May.
  • AHC Training and activity stopped until after Easter and expect further communication.
  • Look out for each other via digital means and please let me know if you test positive so we can alert people you have been in contact with.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at president@altonahc.org.au, and we really appreciate our community’s mature response and support during these times.

Thanks, Alex Tyrrell
President, Altona Hockey Club

Update 17th of March

Hi again to all members,

I want to keep you updated with the latest on the COVID-19 virus and the affects on hockey and the AHC as you will have no doubt seen the affects around Australia and the world.

Today HV released their statement about the current status of hockey in Victoria – https://hockeyvictoria.org.au/news/covid-19-information/

They are planning for business as usual in line with the Victorian Governments Sport & Rec Statement.

At the AHC we have taken further measures to ensure our members stay safe and all training and events will be cancelled from Thursday through this weekend.

Premier League training took place tonight, and mens lower grades training is on tomorrow (Weds) night, from Thursday onwards the club will not be open for the rest of the week. Training has been cancelled Thursday, the OC v YC & $2k Draw postponed to after the season and all practice games cancelled this weekend. As communicated earlier all junior training has been postponed until the 30th of March.

We will then continue to assess the situation each week and communicate with members. I want to thank the Premier League coaches, Ben Newell, Zac Hawes and Ben Guy, Senior Hockey Operations Board Member Tyson Priddle and the PL leadership groups for the leadership on this matter. I want to stress that we currently don’t have any known cases or direct relation to a case, but these measures have been put in place with the health and safety of our members and the community at front of mind.

We have again been consulting with Dr. Matthew Guest in particular and other medical professionals who are advising strong, early action could be key in helping our community deal with this virus in the best way possible. Some great resources from the DHHS: Reducing your personal risk

Thanks again for your understanding and mature approach in difficult circumstances.

Stay Healthy!

Thanks, Alex Tyrrell
President, Altona Hockey Club

Update 13th of March

Hi all,

While we are not panicking, we are certainly taking the current coronavirus outbreak and the health of our members very seriously, so I just wanted to give you an update on the current status at the Altona Hockey Club.

Training for the senior grades is continuing as per normal, and the OC v YC games and $2k Draw event is going ahead as per the government guidelines to not hold events over 500 people, if this changes we will update you immediately. However, if you do not feel comfortable attending we will be offering full refunds, and we also recommend you do not attend if you have ongoing respiratory or health concerns.

We have taken the step of cancelling our MPL & MPLR practice games this weekend in favour of in-house training as we felt it best to take action now at this early stage to limit the risk where possible.

I have spoken to Andrew Skillern and he is working with other sporting codes to determine the best advice as possible for clubs at the community level, so expect more communication from Hockey Victoria as it is needed for the health and safety of all members.

We have some recommendations for everyone training and at the club from Dr. Matthew Guest:
1. If you have any features of the flu or even a cold stay home.
2. If you have a contact or family member diagnosed do not come to training even if you feel well.
3. Every player and coach needs to wash their hands with soap before going on the pitch and after finishing training (a big thank you to Rod Johnson who installed soap dispensers on all basins and sinks last year).
4. Every time we have a drinks break we should have some hand sanitizer on the sideline which everyone uses. Not as good as hand washing but helps.
5. Avoid hand shakes, high fives etc.
6. Just do normal healthy things, drink lots of water, eat well.

Summary
– All Junior training postponed until 30th March.
– Hookin2Hockey will continue Monday nights.
– All other senior training as usual and OC v YC & $2k Draw is going ahead, but please take the precautions above.
– Expect further communication from HV and the AHC as needed.

Stay healthy and thank you to all members for the mature approach during this time.

Thanks, Alex Tyrrell

President, Altona Hockey Club