16 March 2020

Re: 2020 Your Local Club Academy Games & Regional Academies of Sport Programs
With the media coverage currently being aired regarding the developing impact of COVID-19, NSW Regional Academies of Sport believe it is important to provide our athletes, coaches, staff, volunteers, families and supporters with an update on our response to our regular sports programs.

2020 Your Local Club Academy Games
The Regional Academies of Sport, in conjunction with event host, Hunter Academy of Sport, regret to advise that under the Australian Government COVID-19 directive and NSW Government’s Public Health Order restricting all public gatherings of more than 500 people, the 2020 Your Local Club Academy Games has been cancelled. This includes the associated basketball tournament that had previously been moved to June.

The health and welfare of the athletes, families and staff is always our number one priority. Due to the escalating impact of the COVID-19 and the uncertainty surrounding the rapidly changing situation, the Regional Academies made the difficult collective decision to cancel its showcase annual event planned for the Hunter Region on April 3rd-5th 2020.

RASi would like to take this opportunity to announce the dates for the 2021 and 2022 Your Local Club Academy Games;
• April 16-18th, 2021 – Hunter Region
• April 8-10th, 2022 – Host Region TBC.

Regional Academy of Sport Programs
Following a RASi Executive Committee teleconference in response to the COVID-19 situation, a recommendation has been adopted by the independent Regional Academies to activate remote programming from Monday 16th March – 27th April, at which point the situation will be reviewed. This means ‘in person’ attendance at sport programs has been cancelled at this point in time and remote support to be available across the RASi network.

Regional academy athletes will continue to receive essential pathway services electronically such as strength and conditioning (programming included for those without access or avoiding gyms), individual skill programming and online education to ensure continuity in their pathway development during this time. Online content will be guided by each individual academy, their capabilities and respective athlete requirements. Individual academies will determine the remote access content.

In team environments there is increased proximity and duration of physical contact that can facilitate transmission of respiratory and gastrointestinal pathogens. Research in respiratory infections in sporting teams suggests that the most likely pattern of spread occurs from within a team, rather than from external sources. When an unwell team member joins the team, due to the regular close physical contact between team members the infections can spread readily within a team (Valtonen et al. 2019).

RASi Chairman Ian Robilliard stated; “the priority of Regional Academies of Sport is to ensure the athletes and staff are safe and removed from potential risk factors. The current advice around social distancing, together with the rapid developments surrounding this pandemic, collectively the RASi Directors felt it was important to show leadership and provide certainty within our respective sport programs. RASi staff will continue to provide the athletes and families support via our regional service providers during these uncertain times; however, RASi will do so in a manner that is in line with our collective responsibilities.”

RASI will continue to monitor the situation and maintain close communications with medical experts and relevant stakeholders.
Please refer to the links below for more information on COVID-19:
Australian Institute of Sport: http://bit.ly/2wtRP9i
NSW Health: http://bit.ly/2PKmk1v
Commonwealth Department of Health: http://bit.ly/38odpZU

Ian Robilliard
Regional Academies of Sport Inc

On behalf of:
Southern Sports Academy (SSA), North Coast Academy of Sport (NCAS), Northern Inland Academy of Sport (NIAS), Hunter Academy of Sport (HAS), Central Coast Academy of Sport (CCAS), Western Region Academy of Sport (WRAS), Western Sydney Academy of Sport (WSAS), South West Sydney Academy of Sport (SWSAS), Illawarra Academy of Sport (IAS).