In these unprecedented times, I wanted to reach out and let you know what IHNSW are doing to support our members, our rinks and the future of our sport to get through the uncertainties we all face. Like all sporting bodies, IHNSW are closely monitoring the latest developments in relation to COVID-19 (coronavirus). As the current situation changes rapidly, we will continue to monitor and act on advice from the Australian Department of Health and other sporting bodies to provide the appropriate response to the COVID-19.
Our current government advice is that Ice Hockey itself is not a high risk sport for transmission, provided we follow standard personal hygiene, however, the locker room is a high risk environment for transmission of the common cold, influenza, gastroenteritis, or Coronavirus.
Given the risks are exacerbated by greater numbers we support IHA in cancelling or postponing National Championships until we are over the peak of the spread. This will limit flights and transit through high volume areas, large crowds at events, and limit the volume of people using change rooms (virus incubators).
Local hockey can continue at the discretion of the rinks provided that all participants are extra vigilant with personal and social hygiene. Obeying isolation instructions and seeking medical attention as indicated.
Social hygiene recommendations adapted for Ice Hockey from government guidelines are:
• We advise that you do not shake hands before or at the end of games. Keep your gloves on and just tap each other’s gloves or alternatively line up along blue lines and stick tap the other team.
• Hand hygiene is critical. Clean your hands with soap and hot water for 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based hand rub with minimum 60% alcohol content. Wash your hands frequently
• WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER TOUCHING COMMUNAL SPACES BEFORE TOUCHING YOUR FACE OR FOOD
• DO NOT SHARE WATER BOTTLES, TOWELS, MOUTHGUARDS, GLOVES
• DO NOT SHARE WHISTLES (coaches and officials)
• No spitting on and off the ice. This will incur a 10 minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
• Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow. Always practice cough etiquette (keep away from other people, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and clean your hands)
• Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
• DO NOT ATTEND OR PARTICIPATE IN TRAINING OR GAMES IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO CORONAVIRUS OR HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS OF A COLD OR FLU
We are monitoring the situation closely to respond and support our members during this period of uncertainty and will communicate any further changes that may affect you.
At this stage we will be releasing week 1 only and while we are seeking further government advice after todays changes on non-essential gatherings.
We understand that the current situation has presented you with similar challenges and we are focussed on supporting your requirements through this difficult time. With your support, we can minimise the potential for disruption as we navigate these challenging times.