Archery Victoria

Return to Play – Archery in Victoria post COVID-19 lock down

The Board of Archery Victoria has been working with VICSPORT, Sport and Recreation Victoria, Archery Australia and other bodies on what club environments need to look like in order for a Return to Play to come into effect.   Whilst there is no guarantee on what decisions will be made by our Governments – State, Federal and local – we are getting the impression that sports will Return to Play in a staged manner and in the not too distant future.

The task for us now is to ensure that Clubs are ready when the time comes to allow our athletes to train and ultimately compete and to allow the public to again enjoy our sport and join us on the shooting line.

In our last communication, we indicated that one of the first steps was to ensure that you have an adequate Risk Management Plan in place to ensure that we can keep our members, spectators and the general public safe in the post COVID19 environment.  That has been reinforced in the last few days the Australian Institute of Sport and Sports Australia have put forward a Framework for the Rebooting of Sport in a COVID19 Environment.   Risk Assessments is one of the first things mentioned as a requirement in this document – so please continue your work and get your plans up to date.  

The AIS document indicates a 3 stage Return to Play – Level A, Level B and Level C.   For Archery specifically those Stages equate to:

Level A – Outdoor range and solo only

Level B – Full training indoor or outdoor range, with limited numbers/appropriate distancing between athletes

Level C – Full training and competition.

Please also note that these stages are targeted at elite athletes Return to Play and may need to be modified for community sport and community sporting clubs.   How these translate in the actual circumstances and what restrictions will be applied at state and local level are yet to be seen.   There is a lot of work happening at all levels of government and we won’t see the results of that work for a short time yet. 

In the meantime, all clubs can be working towards those levels of return and getting everything ready to go when we get the ok to do so.   It is time for all club committees to step up and make sure we and our athletes can Return to Play as soon as it is safe to do so.   Again, dust off the Risk Management Plans and make sure they are updated.   AV will be asking for copies of those plans before we press the go button.

The AIS document is about 60 pages and a long read – but ultimately gives a good idea of what we need to do to be ready.   If you go to page 12 of the document that section will give you the guts of the requirements.   At least read that portion.   The full document is available at the bottom of the following web page.

There is also an Executive Summary document as well if you just need the highlights.

There is a lot of information there and it is all-important.   We just want to highlight one area to make sure you don’t miss it.   The document points out many of our volunteers within our clubs are in vulnerable categories.   We know, for example, that some clubs are heavily reliant on volunteers in the 65+ category.   These very people we rely on (and have for lots of years) may not be available to us in the first instance.   Think about what this means for your club.  (Note: for some of you this will bring up the issue of coaches.   We are running a pilot Level 1 coaching course via an online medium over the next couple of weeks.   We have broken the course down into 4 sections and will deliver these over 4 nights.    The pilot course participants will be helping to evaluate the remote delivery of the course and determining if this is a viable way to deliver this content into the future.   Pending the outcome of this pilot, more courses will be scheduled and delivered.   We will also then be working on Level 2 training and how this might be delivered.)

You may also find the information on the Safe Work Australia website of use in getting ready.   This website is aimed at businesses but there is a lot of useful information which we can use as well.   Both this website and the AIS report has, for example, posters and other tools which will be useful in getting your environment ready.

A third reference is Sports Community.   Archery Victoria is a member of Sports Community and they host our Club Spot page which has resources to help us run our clubs more effectively.  Many of you will have undertaken training for Club Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurers etc via Club Spot.  (If you haven’t and you hold one of those roles you should think about doing this training).  One of the initiatives from Sports Community during COVID19 is the daily webinars that they are holding.   They run these through Facebook and they come up each weekday at around 11 am and run for about 30 minutes.   All those they have done over the last few weeks are available for viewing.  Today’s webinar, for example, was on the probable impacts of the AIS Rebooting document.  Just ‘like’ Sports Community on Facebook and you will be able to access these webinars.  (If clubs are not sure how to access Club Spot please get in touch.)

We are expecting more information and resources from VICSPORT and Sport and Recreation Victoria over the next few days and we will make that available once we have evaluated it for our sport and environment.   We are working with them, in particular, on a checklist which you will be able to use to make sure you have done all you need to do to ensure the health and safety of our athletes, volunteers and others prior to Return to Play.

Don’t forget that the normal requirements for running a club have not been suspended during this time.   Archery Victoria has previously offered the use of ZOOM technology for clubs to hold committee meetings and to host virtual member get-togethers etc.   It has been great to see 10+ clubs take advantage of this with some on their 2nd or 3rd committee meeting via this medium.   If you need this support just ask.

We know that this is going to be a tough and confusing time for all of us.   We will do our best to guide you through the process and ensure we not only survive into the future but thrive and grow.  Each Member Club of Archery Victoria has a Board Mentor who is the primary port of call for clubs to raise issues or concerns or chat around club needs (whether it be COVID19 related or not).   For those who may have lost track of who their Board Mentor is here is the list.

Deborah Jones GHA, AOW, CB, WAC, HCA
Robyn Mortimer FAC, PAC, TCAG, SETA
Guenter Licht DVA, SA, KCB, YB, HA, BHCA, YDA
Deb Popov-Conroy MAC, AIM, PTA, AA, WCA, YVA
Irene Norman WA, GA, NEA, SCAC, WAI, OA


If you need help with any of this please feel free to contact your Board Mentor. Their contact details are available under the ‘Contact Us’ tab on the Home page via the ‘AV Board & Officials’ option.

They may not know all the answers but they will be able to find the answers and come back to you with some guidance.   You can, of course, contact any Board Member if that is a better option for you.

Archery Victoria will be putting out information to all of your Club Members over the next few days so please make sure that you are across (as much as possible) what needs to happen and are in a position to answer their questions.  We are cognisant that we are all volunteers and each of us has other priorities which need our attention.

Remember to use your existing support networks and remember to reach out to us for support if you need.

Many thanks

Irene Norman

Secretary Archery Victoria


T: 0417 538 672

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