The below message was sent to Tennis Victoria affiliated Clubs and Associations on Thursday 11 June.
Dear Tennis Community,
I hope this email finds you well, safe and hopefully enjoying a Return to Tennis in some way.
I would like to provide you with a quick update regarding the return to tennis COMPETITION, which is currently still not allowed due to Government restrictions regarding COVID-19.
In the last month, we have been in extensive conversations with State Government requesting an exemption for tennis to return to playing competition. We have made the case based on multiple factors including:
- No increased risk to playing competition due to the non-contact nature of tennis
- The financial impact for clubs, associations and coaches by preventing a return to competition in community tennis
- Confidence in our volunteers, coaches and operators to manage competition safely
- The impact of not being able to play competition for aspiring young athletes
- That other States across the country have made an exemption for tennis due to the non-contact nature of the sport
Our request was for competition to resume with immediate effect. This request has been declined. However, we have been informed that Government is willing to consider a possible return to competition from 22 June under certain circumstances.
The following information was provided to us:
“The Restricted Activity Directions (No 9) only allow community sport or community recreation activity in an outdoor space if it satisfies the conditions outlined in clause 6B(2), one of which is that the activity does not involve organised competition.
The Restricted Activity Directions do not allow for the Chief Health Officer or Deputy Chief Health Officer to grant exemptions.
The Chief Health Officer:
- is carefully considering how restrictions can be safely eased and what is necessary to protect the health of the community; and
- will review the situation regularly, including considering COVID-19 testing results, the effectiveness of contact tracing efforts, and the health system’s readiness.”
“However, with current transmission rates remaining low, there are positive signs that these restrictions may be eased for competition resumption for some sports from 22 June, and Sport and Recreation Victoria (SRV) are strongly advocating and hoping for this to be the case. We will obviously communicate any news on easing of restrictions to you as soon as we are able.”
We understand that the current situation is frustrating for our tennis community. Please be assured that we are working hard on your behalf to influence Government to allow competition to return from 22 June. We will update you as soon as we have news of any further change. For now, however, we must reiterate that organised tennis competition of any kind is not permitted by the Victorian State Government at this time.
We have been really heartened to see so many people back on court. We know this has been a huge task for you to ensure a safe environment and we are hugely grateful for all the hard work everyone has put in to making the return to tennis possible. We will do everything we can to get through these final hurdles.
Chief Executive Officer