The AIS has published a complementary framework to help guide sports through this process safely.
The AIS played a central role in the development of the Return to Sport National Guiding Principles endorsed by National Cabinet last Friday, which is in step with The AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment.
The AIS team, led by AIS Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr David Hughes, developed the Framework in collaboration with sport CMOs around Australia, in consultation with the Federal Government’s CMOs and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), as the guide for the reintroduction of sport and recreation in Australia following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Federal, State and Territory public health authorities will ultimately determine when sport and recreation resumes, with National Cabinet to consider further measures this week as part of a broader package. Dr Hughes said the AIS Framework was developed to provide recommendations on how sports can implement return plans as safely as possible.
Dr Hughes said:
“Sport organisations and participants are being faced with complex decisions regarding resumption of training and competition in the current circumstances.”
“The AIS Framework covers all levels of sport from community participation to high performance competition, guiding sporting organisations and individuals on how to resume sporting activity in a cautious and methodical manner. A key principle guiding the creation of the Framework has been to ensure the resumption of sport does not endanger the health of the community.”
“Australia enjoys the many benefits of a rich sporting culture. There is abundant evidence that sport delivers physical, psychological and emotional benefits to participants. Sport can play a crucial role at this time, in assisting the Australian community recover some sense of normality in a COVID-19 environment.”
The AIS Framework recommends a staged approach in any return to sport, with each stage – Level A, B & C – requiring a range of risk management considerations, including an analysis of safe environments and education of participants.
The AIS Framework also provides detailed consideration of the differences across all sports including contact and non-contact sport, indoor and outdoor activity, along with a sport-by-sport guide to return to play.