COVID-19 Update from the Altona Hockey Club

Update 20th of September

Hi all,

I hope you are keeping as well as can be whether in lockdown for those in Metro Melbourne, just easing in regional Victoria, or enjoying a little more freedom in other parts of the country or the World but still no doubt in difficult times.

It’s been a little while since our last update and since my last update – this is mostly because things have a been a little quiet! But make sure you stay tuned to our social media to stay in touch with the club in between news updates.

The major news is that Hockey Victoria and Hockey Australia have been able to carry over the 2020 membership fee to 2021. We have had many enquiries about this, and while we were able to refund all AHC memberships, HV were not in a financial position to immediately refund all members. They have been working really hard behind the scenes and have been able to commit to all members who have paid in 2020 that the amount will credit for the 2021 season. There is just one component that will not carry over which is the insurance fees and the merchant fees – these are a relatively small component – that could not be refunded due to the insurance coverage being used by many players for training. There is the full statement from Andrew Skillern below.

Next up I would like to send a big congratulations to Tracey Drake, who has been elected Vice Chair on the Hockey Victoria Board. As well as being the long-serving treasurer of the Altona Hockey Club, Tracey has been a long serving board member of Hockey Victoria and at the most recent AGM was elected to the Vice Chair role, in which we know she will do a great job representing the interests of the Victorian hockey community.

As for plans for the rest of 2020 and into 2021 obviously we are in the hands of the government, and HV have cancelled all competitions for the rest of 2020. At the AHC we have been meeting as a board monthly and talking with HV and the Hobson’s Bay Council regularly and if there is an opportunity to get playing once restrictions ease we will look at organising social competitions when we can, and then into pre-season 2021. HV are also now taking submissions into a survey as to how the 2021 season will look, I encourage all of our members to take part to make sure your voice is heard as we return to hockey.

There is a big edition of the Snakepit Messenger below, enjoy and stay safe!

Thanks, Alex
President, Altona Hockey Club

Update 10th of July

Hi to all members,

I’m sure many of you have already heard that Hockey Victoria have confirmed that the 2020 winter season has been officially cancelled for all teams.

It’s not the news we wanted, and a shame that we cannot get back out there to play hockey, but it is a decision we support with the next 6 weeks in lockdown taking us to the end of August and uncertainty of the easing of restrictions from there. HV have certainly been doing everything they can to make sure we have at least some season, and will now turn their attention to offering an extended summer competition. 

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved this year, either as a volunteer, member, coach, player – everyone has handled the circumstances extremely well, followed all of our protocols and helped to understand the situation and keep everyone safe. It was great to see players back out on the pitch for a little bit, even though it didn’t last. It was a huge effort from all board members, the junior committee and coaches in trying circumstance to be able to get hockey back.

We are offering full refunds on AHC fees, for anyone who has paid for 2020, please enter your details here and our treasurer, Tracey Drake, will refund as soon as possible – If you have paid for this year and we have not heard from you we will also carry your fees over to next year as a credit. 

For the Hockey Victoria and Hockey Australia registration fees that have been paid, these are still to be determined. Of the total registration amount a component is taken by each organisation and they are both working through what they are able to offer, you should hear directly from them but we will also pass on any news that we have.

The club will be completely closed for the next six weeks, and we will assess from there in terms of small group trainings or people who want to access the facility for any reason.

A couple of last points – we will still be going ahead with the hoody and tracksuit pant order that has been advertised, the only change is that we will organise to have these delivered to your house. So please still enter to get them delivered to the club so you don’t get charged, we’ll get them delivered to us and then out to you at home, so at least you will have an AHC hoody to wear around the house!

We will continue to stay in touch over this period, Caleb has done a fantastic job with the ‘Meet a Member’ series that will be continuing, and hopefully we can also have social events later in the year as well as social competitions.

And lastly, thank you all again for your support and understanding at this time, it’s much harder to get the feel of the AHC community when everyone is apart, keep checking in with each other and stay safe.

Thanks, Alex 
President, Altona Hockey Club

Update 7th of July

Hi to all members,

It has obviously been not a great couple of days for Melbourne with new COVID-19 cases, from midnight tomorrow (Wednesday) night we are back in stage 3 restrictions for 6 weeks. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our community during this time.

JUNIOR TRAINING is cancelled from now/tonight onwards for juniors until we provide further update.

For senior teams, please check your FB group for the sessions for tonight and tomorrow and then from Thursday onwards the club will be closed and not accessible for the next 6 weeks.

We’ll still be in touch regularly over this period with all news as it comes to hand. Please stay safe and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns –

Thanks, Alex Tyrrell

President – Altona Hockey Club

Update 30th of June

Hi AHC members,

A lot has been happening in regards to COVID-19 in the Western Suburbs and Victoria so we just wanted to give a quick update to all members, and there will likely be a follow up later in the week following the Hockey Victoria affiliate meeting tomorrow night.

There have been positive cases in Western Suburbs primary and high schools in which we have members attending, and following the Victorian Government’s announcement today specified suburbs are now back to tighter restrictions in which they cannot attend training.

At the same time the government restrictions for community sport for participants outside of these areas have stayed at the same level.

We are asking all members to follow the government and health authorities advice very carefully and please do not attend training if you are in one of the ‘hot zones’ listed below, or if you have been advised to isolate due to close relation to a case. This is on top of also staying away if you have any cold-like or flu-like symptoms, no matter how mild.

With the help of all of our members doing the right thing we can continue to run training at this time for the majority of members through junior and senior grades.

The full statement from the Premier today –

The following suburbs have been suburbs are now under additional restrictions and unable to attend training;

3012 – Brooklyn, Kingsville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray.
3021 – Albanvale, Kealba, Kings Park and St Albans
3032 – Ascot Vale, Highpoint City, Maribyrnong, Travancore
3038 – Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens
3042 – Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie
3046 – Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park,
3047 – Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana
3055 – Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moreland West
3060 – Fawkner
3064 – Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickelham, Roxburgh Park and Kalkallo

We understand that this announcement is disappointing for many members who were excited to recommence training but it is important to adhere to the Victorian guidelines to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-10 and stopping all training and activity.

If you have started noticing cold-like, flu-like or COVID-19 symptoms, even mild symptoms we also encourage you to get tested.

Thank you all for respecting the guidelines that we have put in place and continuing to do the right thing. For those that can still attend training, our previous update still stands and is listed below.

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch –

Thanks, Alex Tyrrell

President – Altona Hockey Club

Update 27th of June

Hi all,

We now have updated guidelines in-line with the governments easing of restrictions, with the main differences being;

  • Seniors & Juniors no longer need to check-in for each session.
  • Splitting out juniors and seniors in the coach and player responsibilities to reflect the different government restrictions.
  • We can now open up the club & changeroom facilities and have up to 20 people inside (respecting social distancing).
  • Spectators are allowed inside the facility, but we are recommending to stay outside unless necessary. 

See the full update guidelines at the link below.

Key dates;
29th June – Resume Competitive Training
17th July – Season Starts

Seniors (Premier League, Pennant & Metro Competitions)
13th July – Resume Competitive Training
25th July – Season Starts

Mid-Week Open & Masters
13th July – Resume Competitive Training
20th July – Season Starts

All competitions, including finals, will finish by 25th October.

Even though we are starting to return to more normal hockey, it is imperative that you continue to follow our guidelines, maintain good hygiene, social distance where appropriate and do no attend the AHC under any circumstances if experiences any mild cold-like or flu-like symptoms.

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch –

Thanks, Alex Tyrrell

President – Altona Hockey Club

Update 18th of June

Hi all, 

Just a quick update from me this week – but we are certainly getting closer to resuming hockey for everyone!

We are looking at getting juniors back at training now from the week of the 29th of June – please see the note below and contact Ben Guy if you can volunteer to help us get safely back on pitch ASAP. 

Some key dates coming up;
29th of June – Junior training resumes at AHC (full competitive training).
13th of July – Competitive training resumes for seniors.

HV have now also released their competition outline;
All Juniors – Season starts 17th July.
12 round season top 4 2-week finals.

Premier League – Season starts 25th July.
15 round season including 3 mid-week round, finals TBC.

Pennant & Metro – Season starts 25th July.
12 round season top 4 2-week finals.

Senior Mid-Week – Season starts 20th July.
12 game season top 4 2-week finals.

All competitions, including finals, will finish by 25th October.

Even though we are starting to return to more normal hockey, it is imperative that you continue to follow our guidelines, maintain good hygiene, social distance where appropriate and do no attend the AHC under any circumstances if experiences any mild cold-like or flu-like symptoms.

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch –

Thanks, Alex Tyrrell

President – Altona Hockey Club

Update 2nd of June

Hockey Victoria have confirmed that we can have 2xgroups of 20 within our facility, so our guidelines have been updated to reflect this. This means it is even more imperative that we conscious maintain our 1.5m distance at all times, and are careful of where we place our equipment.

Everything else in the below update on the 31st of May is still relevant.

Please see our updated guidelines below or here that reflect these changes – AHC Training Guidelines 2nd of June.

Junior training is aiming to commence on the 22nd of June.

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

Thanks, Alex Tyrrell
President, Altona Hockey Club

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

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 –

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 –

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:

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch –

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 –

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 –

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


  • 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, 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 –

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.

– 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