Update on season 28th April
Dear Hurlstone Park Wanderers Community
This email provides an update as far as possible on the current situation with the plans for football in 2020.
What was probably now 6 weeks ago we started preparing our first newsletter for 2020, with plans for the season, news about teams, and introducing the 2020 Committee. That was the point at which we had locked in our teams for 2020, including finalising team formation sessions for the juniors. We had submitted our teams to the Association, we had heard about our grading outcomes for our teams, so we knew what divisions we would be playing. We were putting the finishing touches to teams to make sure they had the numbers for the season, we were issuing gear, and we were beginning training and training schedules. We were disappointed that our new lights at Ewen had been delayed by the COVID19 impacts on exports from China, but we were gearing up for the season.
I don’t need to tell you what happened next, because it has happened to everyone of us – working from home, practising social distancing, coping with home schooling, managing shopping, meals and somehow also trying to keep fit, keep active and keep positive. For some of our members, and for people that we know, the impacts have been devastating – loss of work, loss of income, delayed health care, not being able to see family members, delayed life events and many other effects. But for everyone, this has been a very strange and challenging time.
We have not been in touch that much because there is not much information that we can update you with about what will happen for community football, but we did think now was a good point to let you know what is happening in the background (as much as we can) and to also encourage you all to continue to be part of the Hurlo community. We do still hope there will be a 2020 season.
Last weekend we would have been playing Round 3 for most of our competitions. We would have had some teams doing double headers. Our junior mixed teams (u11 and below) would have had a week off for commemoration of Anzac Day, but most of our teams would have been finding their groove, getting the lay of the competition, working out the team rosters for oranges, shirts, drinks, whatever. Instead we are working out how to keep fit, how to keep engaged and how long this will last.
I live in Hurlstone Park and so on my regular runs and walks I meet Hurlo folk – kicking a ball with family members, going for a run, a ride or a walk, or waiting for a coffee. It reminds me what a strong community we have, and the number 1 comment from everyone is the wish to have some sort of season for this year – to get the kids and the adults out on the pitch. This is something we are working towards.
So this is not Issue 1 of The Wanderer but it is a news update from the HPW Committee to all our members. Below are some updates and reminders that I hope will be of interest to everyone, and keep us all working towards the same goals.
At this stage we are not processing refunds, apart from exceptional circumstances. There are a few reasons for this.
We do not yet know whether the 2020 season will be delayed, shortened or cancelled and this will obviously impact on refunds
We do not yet have enough information from FFA, Football NSW and CDSFA about our 2020 costs (including insurance and governing body fees) to allow us to process refunds.
We also do not have information about whether refunds in the event of a season cancellation can be managed in bulk through PlayFootball, or need to be handled as individual transactions.
We are all volunteers and we are all dealing with the same issues that most families and workers are managing, and processing refunds is not a straightforward matter.
Rest assured that we will keep everyone up to date on this, and we will have a process. We have been in contact with a few players about particular issues, but we ask that if you do not have a specific reason for needing to de-register at this stage, that you wait until there is more information. We are a community club, not a business, and will not keep anybody’s money any longer than we need to.
Plans for Season 2020
CDSFA are in discussions with Council, and Football NSW are obviously in discussions with CDSFA. The decisions about when and if we will be able to start the 2020 season are not in our hands, but I want to assure you that we are actively supporting plans for having a 2020 season. Social distancing orders are in place in NSW until the end of June, and the most recent information from Football NSW is that community football is suspended until 31 May. However, in the last few days we have seen some indications in the news of possible relaxation. In addition, the CDSFA Board is meeting on 11 May to make a decision, with a possible start to the season in early June (the earliest possible date) or later in June, if the relaxation of physical distancing rules allow this. We will keep following these updates. If the season does go ahead, it is likely to be shortened, but there is the possibility of double headers. The aim is to provide our players with the opportunity to play.
We will not start training until it is safe to do so, and if we do start training, it will be with strict adherence to public health measures. We will also ensure that if we do start games, we will have appropriate physical distancing in place.
We are hopeful that if we are able to commence football for 2020, there will also be an opportunity for an extension beyond the usual season end dates. We are also making plans for miniroos, skills sessions and other activities.
While we cannot give any firm updates at this stage, we want to assure everyone that we are aiming to provide as much opportunity for football as is possible within the current rules.
Abiding by the current rules
This is just a reminder to everyone (and we have received reminders from Council as well) that it is critical that we observe the current rules in relation to physical distancing. Please do not organise group training, kickarounds or any other football activities in groups. Exercise in family groups or only with one other person.
It is really important that everyone abides by these rules, not just for public health reasons but also to ensure that we are able to maintain our access to fields in the future.
Please follow the suggestions of FFA and Football NSW with the PlayAtHome Challenge
Some good news
As you know, we were successful in winning a grant of $200,000 through the MyCommunityProjects scheme to upgrade the lights at Ewen Park. Unfortunately, the COVID19 outbreak delayed this project because the light poles are sourced from China. However, we are very pleased to say that Council have advised that work has now begun and it is likely that the new lights will be in place by the end of June. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this by voting for our project. Our next aim will be to secure funding for new facilities (club room, canteen and change rooms) and for upgrade of fields and lights at Beaman Park.
Best wishes to Pat Jenkins
Most of you will know Pat, regular at the canteen, who manages our orders and many other things. At the beginning of this year we bid a very sad farewell to Pat’s husband Rod, who had been a HPW stalwart and ground manager for many years. This week Pat is having heart surgery, with the hope that she will then be able to have further surgery for her hip which has caused her problems over the years. We wish Pat and her family the very best for a speedy recovery.
While we aren’t able to get together for football, we can keep in touch via social media. We have been running a #HurloAtHome competition, clearly the required 2020 response to the previous #TravellingHurlo competitions that have become a feature of our off-seasons.
Check out our facebook and Instagram pages for recent entries, and get your creative juices flowing. We have had some terrific entries, and I am going to highlight one – a spectacular effort by our premier women’s team (Grace Martin Trophy, or GMT) for 2020. Some of these players have not yet had a competition game with HPW but they’ve truly shown that the team has gelled together and that they are working hard on keeping fit, active and game-ready.
An inspiring #HurloAtHome message and entry from our GMT 2020 team (Grace Martin Trophy, the premier women’s competition). Enjoy their skills!
Posted by Hurlstone Park Wanderers on Wednesday, 22 April 2020
We have some other fun entries and we would love to see more. You can check them out on our FB page.
Wear your Hurlo gear (any gear) and show us how you are coping in lockdown, be it ball skills, game skills, coping skills or whatever you are doing. We are looking forward to creative ways to wear your Hurlo gear with pride!
There will be a prize, but we also want you to do this for bragging rights and to remind us of our football community.
Keeping in touch with your teams
I wanted to finish with a reminder that even though our teams can’t get together to train or play, they are still a really important building block of community football, and to encourage everyone to stay in touch with their teams. Whether it is to organise a zoom meeting, to discuss season plans, to have individual training challenges or something else, we really encourage you to do this. On a personal note, Steve (our registrar, small sided games coordinator and manager of the AAW4 team in which our daughter plays) has been doing a fun version of this- sending a text message to the team each week with a run down on the game for that week. It’s been great to read about these fantasy games, but even more fun to see the team and the team’s families get into the spirit. Those women have scored a lot of goals so far this season and had some dramatic ups and downs already! Let us know what you are doing to keep in touch with your teams.
I hope that we will be able to get together soon on a football pitch, but in the meantime, please stay safe, stay at home and keep in touch.
Yours in football
On behalf of the HPW Committee
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