PRESIDENT'S UPDATE ON BEHALF OF YOUR MBTTA COMMITTEE (21/03/2020)
Good evening all,
Over the past few days the MBTTA Committee has continued to review and consider the latest updates and information from the various levels of Government and other, relevant sources - including the peak Table Tennis bodies in both Queensland and Australia - as these pertain to the ongoing Co-Vid 19 ("Coronavirus") situation.
Accordingly, the Moreton Bay Table Tennis Committee has felt it appropriate to consider our present operations; in particular in light of the guidelines and recommendations which have been notified and now updated on a few occasions by the Federal Government.
As I presume most of us have found, I have personally seen a wide variation in the responses and steps taken to date within businesses and workplaces; as well as in private; public; and other community or sports organisations. I am acutely aware that a similar "divergence" has been mirrored within the Australian Table Tennis community; when taking a snapshot of the various actions which individual local and State Associations have taken (or are presently contemplating taking) in response to the Federal Government's numerous statements; updates; and regulations as these pertain to "public gatherings" and sports events/ organisations.
Further to the above, the Table Tennis Australia Board convened a teleconference on 19/03/2020, which also involved State and Territory Association representatives. As part of this forum the participating members outlined the various existing and/or proposed actions which they have taken to attempt to minimise risks or spread of the Co-vid 19 virus. I was involved in this teleconference in my capacity as an Elected Director of Table Tennis Australia.
We are also mindful that situations will and do vary significantly from Club to Club; based on a range of factors (for example; the number of members and attendees in the playing venue at any time; the demographics of participants; the size, layout and location of a venue; etc). I believe we have taken all of these (and various other) factors on board as we have reviewed our position; and have now determined what we believe is an appropriate way forward for the immediate future.
Following our latest review and subsequent deliberations, we have arrived at the following position, which is to take effect at MBTTA from Monday, 23/03/2020:
* We will CONTINUE the current Monday and Wednesday Fixture competitions; with 2 changes to be implemented.
(a) We will not be playing Doubles as part of the Fixture competitions (this is largely in recognition of the latest "social distancing guidelines" which have been announced by the Federal Government; where participants are asked to remain at a distance of at least 1.5m where possible). Teams will 'split' points for where the Doubles would have been played (ie, each team allocated 1 "Doubles win" each).
(b) We will remove and therefore not be using the Club's 'flip-over' scoreboards (as these were considered to largely be "non-essential equipment", and which in normal circumstances would have been used by numerous participants).
* We will currently CONTINUE to open our playing venue on Monday; Wednesday; and Friday evenings; from 6pm (Again - in line with the Government's social distancing provisions - we would discourage any participant from taking part in Doubles play).
* We will, however, be VARYING our opening days outside of this. Accordingly, we will temporarily be CLOSING on Tuesday's; Saturday's & Sunday's, until further notice.
* We will also be SUSPENDING Group Coaching activities at the Club until further notice (we recognised there is an increased likelihood of "close proximity" between participants and Coaches within beginner / junior sessions in particular). Our Committee and Coaches agreed that this was a prudent course of action.
MBTTA continues to value and recognise the benefits of providing appropriate social and competitive opportunities for our members and guests; and encourages inclusiveness and consideration of others in all its activities and endeavours.
As per our previous announcement, we again recommend that participants seek their own external guidance if and as may be appropriate; as well as taking heed of Government policies and recommendations as these may be announced (and may be varied) from time to time.
In particular we would ask (at a minimum) that the following is adhered to if you are planning to attend MBTTA in the coming weeks:
- If you are sick, please stay away from others, and do not go to the Club. If you are unable to attend Fixtures for this reason please endeavour to utilise regular arrangements to try to arrange a 'Sub'; and if you are unsuccessful finding someone suitable as a replacement you are encouraged to consult one of the Committee as soon as practical.
- Please ensure you practise good general; hand and sneeze/cough hygiene at all times while at our venue (eg: cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based personal hand sanitiser). Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently; and avoid handshaking or other close contact whenever possible.
- Consider whether outings - both individual and family -are sensible and necessary;
- Please consider other potentially-vulnerable people; such as people over 65 years or people with a chronic illness when you make your own decisions and take certain actions. Keep in mind that Table Tennis (and our Moreton Bay Club) covers a very wide age demographic.
- If you are personally within these (or other) "most at risk" groups we would also strongly recommend you consider your personal circumstances and health when determining whether you are comfortable in attending the Club or other public places.
In my own experience as a Member of MBTTA for the past 4 years (including approximately 2 years now as our Club President) I have certainly come to appreciate why our Club is widely recognised as a very caring; responsible; passionate; community minded and highly member-focussed organisation. I believe there is no time like the present to continue to demonstrate this to the broader Table Tennis community by ensuring we try to embody this and "walk the talk" in this regard!
I sincerely appreciate those who have continued to support Moreton Bay Table Tennis; and thank you now in anticipation of your understanding and cooperation.
Yours in sport,