HV updates here
COVID-19 UPDATE 11.07.2020: Cancellation of HV 2020 Winter Season Competitions
Following on from Tuesday’s announcements, with a heavy heart, we can confirm that Hockey Victoria yesterday announced the cancellation of the 2020 Winter Season competitions. While this may not be surprising, and is arguably the only course of action that could be taken with case numbers as they are and clear uncertainty ahead, it is no less devastating. In lieu of this, HV are developing proposals for an 8-week summer competition which they would hope to commence in October. We expect to hear more about that in August, and regardless, MCC Hockey will also be looking at our own extra-ordinary summer programming.
The MCC Executive Committee would like to place on record our thanks and appreciation to all our volunteers, coaches, managers, and sub-committees for the tremendous amount of work they have put in for the club so far this year, both pre and post COVID. To our playing members and junior parents also, thank you for your support, enthusiasm and patience. I am incredibly proud especially of the efforts made by everyone these last few months to resume hockey under unheralded circumstances. Though on the face of it that might seem for nothing now, I believe it has been a tremendous show of our strength as a club and the Mateship, Courage and Commitment that we hold so dear. Those 70 minutes on match day are but a tiny fraction of why we play this game, after all.
HV now turn their attention to working through the financial implications of this cancellation, which will be significant. That concerns both team entry fees, paid by the club, and HV registrations, which you will have paid directly. Once they have done this, we will be in a much better position to advise you all of revised fee, refund and playing options for 2020. This may take a few weeks, so please be patient with us.
In the meantime, a reminder that neither the MHS or Elwood College grounds are available for use under any circumstances.
The full statement from Andrew Skillern, CEO of HV, announcing the cancellation can be found on their website.
Stay safe, and stay in touch.
Craig Gration, Chair, MCC Hockey Section
COVID-19 UPDATE 08.07.2020: HV and MCC Hockey suspend all hockey activities ahead of returning Stage 3 Restrictions
By now, you will have all seen the news that Melbourne is to return to Stage 3 Restrictions, effective from 11.59pm on 08/07/2020.
In the interests of certainty, Hockey Victoria has suspended all HV hockey activities and encouraged clubs in metropolitan Melbourne to suspend all training activities.
Therefore, all MCC Hockey sessions ahead of this time have been cancelled, and members and visitors will not be allowed to use the pitches at all for the next 6 weeks.
We are gutted about this, just as you will be.
Thank you to all our volunteers and coaches who have worked so hard the last 2 months to get everyone back and training, and to all our players for sticking by the protocols and doing what was needed.
Whilst the Exec, HV and other sporting bodies take the time necessary to work through what this means for hockey – and fees – in 2020, please be patient with us, look out for each other, and stay safe.
We’ll have more updates as things progress.
The Executive Committee
MCC Hockey Section
COVID-19 UPDATE 25.06.2020: MCC Hockey preparations and reminders in light of rising Victorian case numbers
Seniors and Juniors have both been back on the pitch training for a number of weeks now, which has been fantastic. We are preparing well ahead of the scheduled season starts in mid-late July.
This successful return wouldn’t be possible without your adherence to the new rules and helping the Section work within the strict guidelines required of us, so thank you all for that. We cannot do this without you.
However, as you will know, things are far from “normal” yet, with a rise in case numbers and reintroduced restrictions in Victoria over the last few days. Therefore, we’d like to remind you all as members to please remain vigilant in your actions as they pertain to playing hockey:
- If you are feeling sick, have symptoms, or are awaiting the results of a test even if it is only precautionary, do not attend training. Members have been great with this so far – please keep it up.
- Likewise, if you live or work in one of the 10 suburbs identified today as a “Covid Hotspot”, please also consider your attendance at training, based on your potential level of exposure. These suburbs are:
- Keilor Downs, Broadmeadows, Maidstone, Sunshine West, Albanvale, Hallam, Brunswick West, Reservoir, Pakenham & Fawkner
- With more groups – including non-MCC – now also training at our venues, we must be more stringent than ever with departure and arrival times. Make sure you know your exact start time – you should not enter the grounds more than 5 minutes before this – and depart immediately after your finish time. There should be no hanging around in groups before or after training. Please be strict with this – we have had reports of this not always being the case.
- To aid with this, make sure you arrive as ready to go as is practical – you should not be spending 5 minutes getting ready in the stands and have personal clothes and equipment spread all over the place – please bring a smaller bag only, rather than your full hockey bag.
- Make sure you have signed up for your allocated sessions in advance of showing up – you must do this every week.
- As ever, use hand santiser before and after sessions and wash your hands regularly.
- We are continuing to keep non-essential areas closed and non-essential attendees away even as some restrictions have been loosened at a State level, so please check in with your relevant contact if you are unsure of our latest protocols.
- Full and updated Return to Hockey Guidelines are available here, and now feature training times.
Thank you again for all your efforts so far – let’s keep it up and give ourselves the best opportunity possible of kicking off competitions next month.
COVID-19 UPDATE 27.05.2020: MCC Hockey Return to Hockey Guidelines
In accordance with Hockey Victoria and state government guidelines, the following outlines the processes and protocols that all MCC Hockey members must undertake when returning to training during current Covid-19 restrictions. Please familiarise yourself with these procedures and reach out to your relevant section chair if you have any questions.
COVID-19 UPDATE 11.05.2020: MCC Hockey returning in June!
Following the publication of HV’s Return to Hockey Guidelines, the Exec Committee has been putting together our own plans for getting MCC Hockey members back on the pitch at Melbourne High School and, excitingly, our new second ground at Elwood College. This is no small task, and something we must get absolutely right, but we are almost there.
We will circulate key principles and guidelines for all players and family early next week; please make sure to familiarise yourself with these and observe all the requirements they contain.
In the meantime, here are some key principles for getting MCC Hockey going again:
- “Get in, train and get out” – blunt but clear. Arrival and departure will have to be prompt, only players and coaches should be on the grounds, and training groups shouldn’t overlap at all.
- A staggered return through June – Given varying needs and requirements across the Section, and to ensure our new processes are optimal, we will implement a staggered return to hockey throughout June. Provisionally, this means Prem/Reserves on field from week commencing 1st, Pennant w/c 8th, and Juniors w/c 15th.
- Social distancing at all times – training groups will be of no more than 10 + coach per half-pitch; min 1.5m distancing will apply both on and off the field, and training drills and procedures will reflect that.
- A strict approach to hygiene – all communal areas apart from the pitch and downstairs toilet will be closed, new cleaning procedures will be in place, and there will be no shared use of equipment. Members must ensure strict personal hygiene.
- Being prepared for any Covid cases – it will be essential for us to know exactly who has been on the pitch and at what times, in the event of any connected covid cases. Thus, a strict registration and attendance system will be in place. We would also ask all of our members to download the COVIDSafe app.
- The choice is yours – some members may not feel comfortable or may not want to return to training under the current strict protocols. If so, that is fine. We just want to make sure training is available again for you, and will see you once restrictions have eased.
This will not quite be hockey as you knew it, but is an important step to getting there. We know this may not be the return many of our members are hoping for, but this is a great opportunity to get some face time with teammates again and work on basic skills which have no doubt rusted up a bit!
There are sure to be questions, but these are best saved until after the full guidelines have gone out next week.
We look forward to seeing you again very very soon.
The Executive Committee,
MCC Hockey Section
COVID-19 UPDATE 11.05.2020: MCC Hockey awaiting “Return to Hockey Guidelines” from HV
As most of you will have seen, today state Premier Daniel Andrews announced the first stage easing of restrictions to take effect from 11.59pm tomorrow night, Tuesday 12th May, through to the end of the month. The most pertinent of these for us as a sports club is groups of up to 10 people now being permitted outside for activities, including exercise. So, what does this mean for MCC Hockey? Can we all now get back on the pitch?
The short answer is, unfortunately, “no – not quite yet!”.
There are still many protocols, logistics and clarifications that have to confirmed by Hockey Victoria before clubs are able to safely and/or legally return to playing or training in absolute confidence, and accordingly, HV is asking that clubs hold off on organising any formal sessions until they have completed this and a “Return to Hockey Guideline” is circulated. They are developing this now, and so in the meantime we must all wait just a little bit longer – more details on HV’s position and likely timing is available here.
We as an Executive are in touch with Melbourne High School to ensure we are back on the pitch again as soon as we are able, and excited to see friends and teammates alike shortly. In the meantime, we welcome any and all members to organise their own small group fitness sessions if they are able, in accordance with the new guidelines.
We’ll have more updates for you in the weeks to come.
The Executive Committee,
MCC Hockey Section
COVID-19 UPDATE 18.03.2020: All MCC Hockey activities suspended until further notice
Yesterday afternoon, Hockey Victoria announced that after much consideration they would be proceeding as planned with winter competitions for the 2020 season, as per current state government guidelines.
We respect their decision and understand how significant and difficult the call to postpone the season must be. Whilst noting Hockey Victoria’s current position, the Executive Committee has adopted a conservative approach to the management of the current COVID-19 situation and has determined to suspend all MCC Hockey activities until further notice: this includes training, junior programs, practice matches, mid-week league games, and social events, and extends to all Juniors, Seniors, Masters and Mid-week teams and their activities for the time being.
We do not take this decision lightly, and it is one made with a heavy heart – we love this game and the community it offers, and we know this is the same for all of our members. Sport and social interactions are a vital component for us all to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. However, following consultation with healthcare professionals, internal discussions, and an assessment of action currently being taken elsewhere – not just in Victorian hockey but in different sports across numerous countries – we felt this was the only responsible course of action to take.
We know this may upset some of our members, but the message we have heard is clear: our hospitals risk being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients and Social Distancing measures are the best option that we have to mitigate this risk. This means keeping gatherings of people to a minimum and staying 1.5m from others, which we simply cannot maintain if we are playing hockey. As a club and a sporting body we have a responsibility to protect our players, but more than that we have a responsibility to protect our community and its most at-risk citizens, and by continuing to facilitate gatherings of large groups such as at training and games we risk not fulfilling this.
Therefore, we are adopting the following steps:
- We will scale official hockey activities back to admin only.
- Training and practice games will be cancelled.
- No social activities will be scheduled.
- The canteen will be closed. For clarity, members are advised that they must NOT attend Melbourne High School including the hockey ground and pavilion for any reason while we have suspended hockey operations there. Your cooperation is appreciated.
- Where appropriate, coaches may circulate fitness programmes for players to continue to work on individually or in very small groups.
- We encourage regular social media connections between players – check in with each other, say hello, be a friend!
- Continue to follow good hygiene practices.
- We will remain in close and constant contact with Hockey Victoria about their latest position.
- We accept that anyone who has not yet registered or paid associated fees with will likely hold off on doing so. We ask that those who have already done so wait for more information, as we are, from HV before any additional action. We are still operating on the assumption that the 2020 season will go ahead.
- Lastly, we are looking into ways that we as a club may be able to help those in our community who may be struggling at this time eg the elderly who must now self-isolate. We’ll keep you updated on any progress with this.
We are continuing to monitor the situation both locally, nationally, and internationally, and will inform members as soon as there are any changes to note. We want to get out on the pitch again as soon as possible, and appreciate your patience and understanding as we all try to navigate these unprecedented times.
Please continue to remain diligent with the steps you take to protect both yourself and others. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact your relevant executive representative.
More than ever, this is a time for Mateship, Courage, and Commitment.