Update #1 13th March 2020
Nepean Football Association, like many other grassroots sporting providers in Australia and around the world, are working hard to develop strategies regarding the safety of our members and supporters. We are currently receiving advice from our parent bodies Football NSW & FFA, who in turn are also taking instructions from FIFA, along with recommendations from State, Federal and World Health Organisations.
The last thing we want to do is cause any undue panic or inconvenience, which is why we only taking advice from qualified providers. We do not deal in rumours or “I saw it on Facebook” information.
Within our own Football Community, we have had no confirmed cases of the virus.
Some of you may have heard today of a reported case of a positive result coming out of Katoomba High School, which indirectly impacts some of our upper mountains members.
Latest reports have resulted in the school being closed until Monday until further directions are issued from the Dept of Education and NSW Health. The latest report from the school website is
“In accordance with NSW Health advice, staff and students at the school will self-isolate Friday and over the weekend while the contact tracing process is finalised.
The Department of Education will be working with NSW Health to reopen the school on Monday.
The school will keep parents informed during this time and the Department will keep its information channels updated, including the Schools Notification App, Facebook and website.
COVID-19 is typically mild in children. Self-isolation is a precaution to minimise its spread.
In line with NSW Health advice, anyone in close contact of an infected person is advised that if they develop symptoms of fever or respiratory illness, they should call ahead before seeing their doctor for assessment.”
While Wentworth Falls FC has NOT had any reported cases of COVID-19, many of their players attend the school and have been advised to self-isolate on Friday and over the weekend until they receive further advice. As a consequence of the self isolation, the Blue Mountains Pre-season Gala Day games have been cancelled.
Sadly, we have received some reports of parents and coaches at a few of our clubs demanding to stand down children who have a runny nose or a cough. Please remember that these symptoms are also symptoms of the common cold, hay fever, allergies etc.). We respectfully ask parents and coaches to stop this practice. If you are genuinely concerned for the safety of your own child/ren or yourself, you should refrain from activities, but you have no right to insist that another player stand down, or that they need to go and get tested for the virus.
FFA today advised via Football NSW that games scheduled for this weekend may still proceed. You can click here to see FNSW’s latest updates to the football family. There are also other links in their article to assist with understanding COVID-19.
We offer the following suggestions and strategies to reduce risk during this time;
- Ask your players to arrive at the game dressed for their activities, removing the need for change rooms.
- Make all change rooms off limits, and hold ½ time team talks outdoors
- Don’t share equipment or drink bottles
- Practice safe hand washing and hand sanitising procedures before and after using the bathroom, after eating, after coughing and sneezing and always cough into a tissue or into your elbow.
- Accept for now that it’s not wise to shake hands before and after a game and stop this practice. Players should not be offended if an opposition player refuses to shake hands.
- Don’t spit in public places (that’s unpleasant anyway!)
- Maybe hold off on the team huddle and get inventive with an alternate way to celebrate mateship and your wins or losses.
Remember, this won’t be forever. We need to work together to minimise risk, be kind and considerate to each other and don’t dabble in rumour and inuendo.
If you’re concerned or showing symptoms of the virus, consult your GP (but phone ahead first) and self-isolate if advised to do so. Remember, if you self-isolate, it’s not just from work or school but from sport and other activities and social gatherings too.
Club Committees, if you know of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your club, please report it to the Association without delay so we can inform FNSW and take necessary steps to lessen the negative impacts on your club and your opposition teams.
We have a tele-conference with FNSW and other Sydney Associations scheduled on Tuesday morning and expect more updates to be made after the conference. We’ll keep you posted with any updates.
Thanks for your attention & please play nice this weekend.