Australian News

Australian Institute of Sport Chief Medical Officer Dr David Hughes on getting back to sport

A RETURN to sport features prominently in the Federal Government’s plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the National Cabinet have agreed on a three-step plan to navigate Australia out of the coronavirus lockdown and “to achieve a COVID safe economy and society”.

In a press conference on Friday, Mr Morrison said he hoped to move Australia through the three steps by July, depending on health advice. Each of the states and territories would ultimately control their own progress, he said.

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has played a key role in developing a framework to guide a return to competitive and community sports as safely as possible.

Dr David Hughes, chief medical officer of the AIS, said sport organisations and participants were faced with complex decisions regarding resumption of training and competition in the current circumstances.

“The AIS Framework covers all levels of sport from community participation to high performance competition, guiding sporting organisations and individuals on how to resume sporting activity in a cautious and methodical manner,” he said.

“A key principle guiding the creation of the Framework has been to ensure the resumption of sport does not endanger the health of the community.”

The AIS Framework recommends a staged approach in any return to sport, with each stage – Level A, B and C – requiring a range of risk management considerations, including an analysis of safe environments and education of participants.

It also provides detailed consideration of the differences across all sports including contact and non-contact sport, indoor and outdoor activity, along with a sport-by-sport guide to return to play.

Dr Hughes will be online at noon today (AEST) to answer your questions in an hour-long Q&A.

You can ask your questions in advance in the comments below or during the session.

Due to the number of questions, Dr Hughes may not be able to answer everyone.

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