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22.05.2020 COVID-19 UPDATE: MCC Hockey Returning in June

Club
22.05.2020 COVID-19 UPDATE: MCC Hockey Returning in June

HV updates here

Last update 22 May 2020
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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

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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.

Sincerely,
The Executive Committee,
MCC Hockey Section

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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.

Sincerely,

Craig Gration
Executive Committee Chair
MCC Hockey Section

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Michelle Flouch, 1966-2020