In the last 24hours, we have received several enquiries around spectators at the Vawdon Cup. We would note that we have previously advised affiliates of our current position in relation to spectators and at this point, this has not changed.
To clarify, the NSWTA, are like all community sports and must operate under The NSW Government Public Health Orders currently in place.
For community sport, the limit for public gatherings is a maximum of 500 persons on a venue at any one time. This is inclusive of all participants, all referees, all officials, and any spectators. It is also important to note that this number does not change regardless if you are operating on a venue with one (1) field or like our sport multiple fields (up to 14 fields at Vawdon Cup).
In ensuring we are meeting the Public Health Orders; we have had to make the unfortunate decision that no spectators can currently attend while the current Public Health Orders are governing us. It is not something we want to have in place, however, due to the nature of having multiple fields on venues, the participation numbers this presents, ensuring we do not breach Public Health Orders and with a view to help keep our and the larger community safe, it is a decision that we had to make. The only exception to this is for players who are under the age of 18 who we have allowed one (1) parent to attend.
We are aware of the recent government advice whereas they announced changed permission from one (1) parent to two (2). It is important to note that within that advice there are two important factors relating to our event. Firstly, the 500-person limit remains, and community sports are still under the Public Health Orders in this regard and must continue to comply with that number. Secondly, and on that basis, the government advice also stated it would the decision of the individual sporting organisations to adopt the new advice only if it met the Public Health Order around public gathering regulations. The exact advice from the NSW Chief Medical Officer to Community sport was “The advice provided in August regarding limiting spectators to one parent per child, and inter-region sport and recreation activities have been removed, however, organisations must still ensure their 2 activity is delivered in compliance with the Public Health Order and the COVID-19 Safety Plan requirements.”
Further, the advice from Dr Chant stated “Some community sport organisations may choose to still limit spectator numbers at matches, subject to the protocols within their COVID-19 Safety Plans and based on factors such as the size of their venue, match scheduling or hiring requirements placed on them by venue operators. We ask that you have patience and understanding as clubs and associations interpret and implement this advice in the most practical manner for their activities.”
On the basis of the requirement to adhere to the 500-person limit for community sports activities and because of the size of our venues, the numbers of participation, including players, referees, and all officials we are in a position where we must retain our current status to ensure we are not in breach of the Public Health Order.
We appreciate that you have parents/family/partners who wish to watch and enjoy watching. We enjoy having spectators at our events. However, we are in challenging times and while we would all like to be in a pre COVID environment the reality is that we all have to operate under the prevailing restrictions at the moment.
We are continually monitoring NSW Health advice and are a party to their regular briefings for community sport. Should any upward change to the Public Health Order on public gathering limits be advised we will be in a position to review the current status and regulations.
We will continue to monitor the situation throughout the State, NSW Health, the Office of Sport and Sport NSW. We will communicate any future recommendations, changes to COVID-19 Safety Plans or Public Health Orders that impact on our sport.
Best wishes and stay safe.