Mater helps players return to the field safely

08/Jul/2020     HealthMater Group

Touch Football Australia’s 700 000 participants have started returning to fields across the country as COVID-19 restrictions ease. As Touch Football Australia’s health partner, Mater provided expert review and endorsement of their return-to-play protocols to help participants return safely.

Touch football is Australia’s largest social sport and the partnership enables Mater to support community health and wellbeing beyond our services. Mater Director of Infectious Diseases, Dr Paul Griffin, reviewed and endorsed their national approach to returning to play, supporting our community with advice to avoid transmission of COVID-19.

“Supporting Touch Football Australia to develop their return-to-play guidelines has been an excellent opportunity for mater to contribute to community wellbeing above and beyond the health services we provide on a day to day basis,” Dr Griffin said.

“Thankfully, because Touch Football doesn’t involve sustained contact between participants, there’s a lower risk of transmission in this sport."

“Evidence also suggests that outdoor activities are a lower-risk setting for COVID-19 than indoor.”

The return-to-play protocols include guidelines on sanitising the football before and after games, as well as reinforcing advice on regular hand hygiene and remaining at home if players feel unwell or are in a high-risk category. 

Touch Football Australia CEO, Jamie O’Connor, said players have been eager to get back to touch football.

“We’ve been hearing from our community that taking part in sport is one of the things they’ve missed most during the pandemic.

“They’ve missed being involved in healthy fun with their friends, the connections with the broader community that comes with touch football, the routine of having a run around the park in an organised activity, and also the socialising that often comes after a game of touch.”

Mr O’Connor said touch football is a simple sport that anyone can play. “All ages and genders, and different abilities can play together, so you can put a family or work team together. It’s a really welcoming, inclusive community. If you’ve ever thought about seeing what Touch Football’s about, now’s the time to give it a go.

“Mater has been excellent to work with, providing expertise and community leadership to help Touch Football Australia develop its Return-to-Play Protocols and Guidelines. Thanks to Mater, the thousands of Australians who are keen to get back to our sport can enjoy a safe and confident return.”

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