Little Athletics NSW is closely monitoring the ongoing developments regarding to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and will post all relevant updates from Little Athletics New South Wales & Little Athletics Australia on this page.
18/03/2020: Little Athletics NSW Update
As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, Little Athletics NSW provides the following update:
NSW Government Public Health Order has been issued that makes it an offence to hold a public event at which there are, or are likely to be, 500 people or more in attendance at any one time. At this stage the Order lasts until 14 June 2020.
The Australian government has banned indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.
Little Athletics Australia has advised that the conduct of all organised Little Athletics activities should be suspended immediately, until at least 20 April 2020 when the LAA Board will reassess the situation and provide further advice. This suspension applies to all organised events, social gatherings, presentations, competitions and training sessions.
It is currently still appropriate for centre administration to proceed with essential processes such as reporting and end of season governance obligations, however committees must undertake these in line with the government’s’ advice, particularly with regard to social distancing measures. Therefore, at this stage, AGM’s may be able to be conducted if they conform to social distancing guidelines, however consideration should be given to postponing or conducting these using non face-to-face contact options, if available. Centres should still look to finalise their annual reports and accounts and if they are not able to conduct an AGM then it is recommended that current committee positions be maintained until such time as an AGM can be held.
There is no restriction on committee meetings, although alternative methods, namely through phone or internet hook-ups, is recommended.
Government advice may change quickly depending on the spread of the virus, so please take this into consideration with all planning and decision making. Up-to-date information on the governments’ recommendations can be found here.
For those who have not seen previous updates, we also confirm that both the Little Athletics NSW State Championships and the Australian Little Athletics Championships have been cancelled for 2020.
We will advise within the coming days, the status of the 2020 State Road Walk Championships; the 2020 State Cross Country Championships and the 2020 LANSW Annual Conference.
The Little Athletics NSW Board is meeting this evening and will be reviewing the current restrictions, with further updates issued, as required.
Ensuring the health and wellbeing of the both the Little Athletics NSW community and the community at large, must remain the number one priority.
We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time
Little Athletics NSW
17/03/2020: Little Athletics Australia Statement on the Australian Little Athletics Championships
The Board of Little Athletics Australia wishes to advise that the 2020 Australian Little Athletics Championships (ALAC) has been cancelled due to the evolving situation of COVID19 (Coronavirus). This decision aligns with the ACT Government’s state of emergency advice regarding non-essential mass gatherings issued earlier this week.
This decision follows Friday’s announcement by Athletics Australia of the cancellation of their Junior Nationals later this month. LAA has taken this decision in the best interests of the health and wellbeing of our Little Athletics community. The decision is based on the current threat of Coronavirus impacting the health and welfare of our athletics community and Australians broadly.
This difficult decision to cancel ALAC completely was not taken lightly and has been made in line with the latest federal and state government expert health advice.
Consideration was given to the option of holding ALAC later in the year, however, this would likely have required adequate qualification events at the state level to be scheduled close to the 2020/21 season, which would have resulted in organisational and logistical difficulties for state and territory offices as well as centres.
LAA also considered the option of holding ALAC ‘under restricted conditions’ however, in line with the latest expert government health advice regarding static mass gatherings and enhancing social distancing, it was determined that the risk posed from group travel and any potential long-term isolation of minors while away from home was too high.
The LAA office is working closely with the state and territory associations, our partners, governments and other commercial providers to minimise the impact of this decision on our member
Little Athletics Australia President, Andrew Pryor said; “This has been a difficult decision by the Board and I ask that we all work together to ensure the Little Athletics community remains safe. It is incumbent upon us to ensure that, once this situation is resolved, we are ready to resume providing opportunities for children to enjoy athletics in a safe environment.”
LAA CEO, Martin Stillman said; “ALAC draws athletes, coaches, administrators, officials, families and spectators from all over Australia. This places our event in the category of 500+ attendees. We have an obligation to our Little Athletics family and to the broader community to assist authorities in limiting the spread and impact of COVID-19.”
The Little Athletics Australia team will continue to ensure the organisation and its members are supported and prepared to meet the challenges as they present themselves. The team is also actively engaged with Athletics Australia and Sport Australia to find ways of adapting to the circumstances and ensure they deliver the best outcomes possible for the sport.
17/03/2020: Little Athletics NSW State Championships Update
Little Athletics NSW continues to closely monitor the ongoing developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with a view to ensuring the health and wellbeing of the Little Athletics NSW community and the possible implications for Little Athletics as a sport.
Following from our announcement on Friday that the State Championships would not be taking place last weekend, we can now confirm that the 2020 State Track & Field Championships have been officially cancelled. This is the first time in the history of Little Athletics in NSW, that a State Championship has not been held and unfortunately this means there will be no Little Athletics NSW State Track & Field champions recognised for 2020.
It is regrettable that circumstances in respect of the coronavirus pandemic led to this decision and while we understand its impacts, we believe that given the circumstances and the rate of pace of change of information and advice, this decision was the appropriate one. Little Athletics, like everybody else, must do what we can to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Regarding to the Australian Little Athletics Championships scheduled to be held on the 18th and 19th April in Canberra, we are expecting a decision from Little Athletics Australia later today and will provide an update once that has been received.
We remind everyone of the need to continually monitor and adhere to the advice being issued by the various health authorities. We will also be providing further information and advice relevant to our members on this page, as it comes to hand, and encourage everyone to check back regularly for the latest update.
Thank you to everyone for your cooperation and understanding as we continue our commitment to ensuring the health and wellbeing of our members and the community.
14/03/2020: Little Athletics Australia COVID-19 Recommendation
The Board of LAA (the Board) convened an emergency meeting Friday afternoon 13/03/20 to assess the implications for Little Athletics of the rapid escalation of the coronavirus in Australia and crucial Government advice related to containment.
The Board and LAA office have consulted with experts and stakeholders, including our State and Territory leaders, and we acknowledge the Prime Minister’s advice following Friday’s COAG meeting and the official declaration by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of pandemic status for COVID-19. Accordingly, it is the Board’s strong recommendation that State and Territory Championship events not proceed this weekend.
The Board does not make this recommendation lightly. It is regrettable that circumstances in respect of the coronavirus pandemic have led to this recommendation, and while we understand its impacts, we believe that, given the circumstances and the rate of pace of change, this is the appropriate course of action for now.
As matters progress, we will review the situation, and provide support and recommendations to members. We appreciate your support and patience during this very trying time.
The health of everyone is our priority. We want to do our best to promote the safety of all families involved in Little Athletics at all levels. We understand these things are disappointing. We assure you that we will be considering the best for all, over the coming time as we navigate this together.
13/03/2020: State Championship Update
Little Athletics NSW has been closely monitoring and evaluating developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak for the past week or more, with advice being sourced daily from the Australian and NSW Health departments.
News has just been received that a meeting today of State and Federal Governments has agreed to issue advice to cancel ALL public gatherings of over 500 people. As a result of this advice, we now confirm that this weekend’s State Championships WILL NOT be taking place.
We have no further information at this stage, but will make further announcements about centre competitions, selections for the Australian Little Athletics Championships and other relevant matters, at the earliest possible opportunity.