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Industry alliance provides guidance on community aquatic, recreation and sport operations in eased Coronavirus environment

Industry alliance provides guidance on community aquatic, recreation and sport operations in eased Coronavirus environment
May 12, 2020

An alliance of industry peak bodies, facility operators and program and activity providers who collectively provide opportunities to encourage Australians to be more physically active, to recreate and participate in community sport, have come together to provide an Industry Re-opening Framework response, which is proportionate and is committed to providing safe environments for its employees and the community who are keen to exercise, recreate and participate in community sport within our managed facilities and space.

This industry framework has been developed by benchmarking key global and national organisations framework and approaches to activities and sports that include social interaction (while respecting the need for social distancing) and aims to provide operators and local government have confidence in the areas that they need to explore for their facilities re-opening.

Developed so that operators and local governments can jointly approach the best possible way of re-opening the facilities, the Framework document states “with the anticipated relaxation of the social isolation guidelines it is time for the industry to assist all levels of Government in appreciating that we are ready to do our part to continue to manage the spread of COVID -19 by embracing risk mitigation strategies in the way we manage and provide opportunities for the community to be active in a safe environment.

“This Re-Opening Framework aims to provide local government and the industry service providers and facility managers with a Roadmap on how to re-open the industry facilities and start providing greater opportunities to the community to be more active

“The Alliance encourages all service providers to consider a standardised approach for re-opening across all States and Territories to be recognised and implemented through local government and with the support of the industry sector. To realise this the Alliance has drawn up the following Framework and this should be read in conjunction with the Federal Governments advice on Rebooting Sport, with the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport, which we recommend that all local governments, operators and providers embrace.”

The Framework also advises that “with an estimated 150,000 people employed in the sector and providing participation opportunities to many millions of Australians the industry is keen to work with all levels of government to re-open the facilities and restart the provision of programs and activities to support the physical, mental and community health of all Australians.

“The industry represents a $2.5 billion annually benefit to the Australian economy and provides more than 130 million hours of vigorous exercise each year at public aquatic facilities.

“The unique position and value of the physical activity sector - and its workforce - to our nation’s health and economy must not be underestimated. Physical inactivity contributes to 20% of the burden of heart and blood vessel disease in Australia1 and costing the economy billions of dollars annually. Our community aquatic, recreation and sport facilities are on the frontline of the prevention agenda, contributing hugely to both our national wellbeing and productivity. We cannot allow the facilities at the heart of our communities to close and worse disappear.”

The document continues “we have developed an Industry Re-opening Framework response, which is proportionate and is committed to providing safe environments for its employees and the community who are keen to exercise, recreate and participate in community sport within our managed facilities and space.

“With the anticipated relaxation of the social isolation guidelines it is time for the industry to assist all levels of Government in appreciating that we are ready to do our part to continue to manage the spread of COVID -19 by embracing risk mitigation strategies in the way we manage and provide opportunities for the community to be active in a safe environment. This Re-Opening Framework aims to provide local government and the industry service providers and facility managers with a Roadmap on how to re-open the industry facilities and start providing greater opportunities to the community to be more active

“The Alliance encourages all service providers to consider a standardised approach for re-opening across all States and Territories to be recognised and implemented through local government and with the support of the industry sector. To realise this the Alliance has drawn up the following Framework and this should be read in conjunction with the Federal Governments advice on Rebooting Sport, with eth AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport, which we recommend that all local governments, operators and providers embrace.

“We believe that this will provide confidence to the public to return to the facilities and program providers. The Plan has embraced the Australian Business Excellence Framework and used the ISO Risk Assessment Principles (ISO 31,000) in its development.”

The Framework was developed by the following:

Industry National Peak bodies
Royal Life Saving Society - Australia
Austswim
Australian Leisure Facilities Association 

State Peak Bodies
Aquatics and Recreation Victoria
Aquatics and Recreation Institute (NSW)
ALFAQ
Leisure Institute of Western Australia (Aquatics) [LIWA Aquatics]

Facility and Program Providers
Aligned Leisure
Belgravia Leisure
BlueFit
Club Links
State Sports Centres - NSW
The Y/YMCA (Australia and NSW) 

Support was provided by Smart Connection Consultancy.

The Australian community aquatic, recreation and sport sectors represented by the Alliance includes:

• More than 1077 aquatic and recreation facilities, usually own by councils and often managed by a range of non-profit organisations, small and medium businesses 
• More than 1,200 swim schools, including many small family businesses 
• More than 67,000 frontline employees in roles including swimming and water safety instructors, pool lifeguards and fitness professionals 
• More than 1.5 million children participating in swimming and water safety lessons 
• More than 106 million individual visits to swim in a pool, participate in community sport, train in a gym or just relax.

Click here to read the framework.

Images: Aquatic competition at Perth's HBF Stadium (top, courtesy of VenuesWest) and junior hockey in Melbourne (below).

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3rd April 2020 - Royal Life Saving welcomes JobKeeper payments as a ‘$700 million lifeline’ for aquatic facilities and swim schools

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20th March 2020 - Stakeholders seek Government stimulus support for privately operated sports centres

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