15 October 2020

Tania Maxwell MP, Member for Northern Victoria, has backed the call of Regional Sport Victoria for changes to the Government’s roadmap to allow a return to community sport.

Regional Sport Victoria has called for a separation of regional Victoria from metropolitan Melbourne in the triggers to take regional Victoria to the Last Step of the roadmap.  Under the current roadmap, contact community sport for over 18 year olds will not return until Victoria has had no new cases for 14 days.

Ms Maxwell raised the matter in Parliament with the Minister for Sport, noting the advent of the coronavirus has exerted a devastating impact on the staging of sport at all levels in Victoria throughout 2020.

Between March and July, the Regional Sport Victoria (RSV) network undertook an extensive research project on this impact and surveyed more than 500 regional Victorian sporting clubs, leagues and associations. The findings confirm the crucial role of sport and recreation in forging very strong social bonds and cohesion in a multitude of regional communities. What also resonated was collective and high levels of concern about members’ ongoing health and social wellbeing.

Ms Maxwell said sporting clubs were very mindful of the consequences for many people of an ongoing lack of social connection and physical activity and were committed to safe and hygienic processes to minimise risk.

Regional Sport Victoria have proposed three recommendations:

  • A remodelling of the last step of the roadmap, so that it is not predicated on a combined trigger for both Melbourne and regional Victoria of no new coronavirus cases for at least 14 days.
  • The establishment of five regional zones (Barwon South West, Gippsland, Grampians, Hume and Loddon Mallee) to facilitate a quicker return to community sport in any or all of those areas unaffected by coronavirus for at last a fortnight, including for sport and recreation.
  • A relaxation of some of the rules around the participation in sport of people under the age of 18 and support for under 18 products and opportunities.

Ms Maxwell said she hoped the Government would adopt the recommendations in Sunday’s announcement on updates to the roadmap.

Quotes attributable to Tania Maxwell MP:

 “Community sport is integral to social connection and physical and mental wellbeing, particularly in regional and rural areas.”

“Sporting clubs are committed to continuing the safe and hygienic practices they implemented earlier in the year and have offered reasonable recommendations to the Government for regional areas to return to sport.”