Triathlon ACT Safe Return To Triathlon Training Guidelines
as at 5pm May 15th 2020
Please note that this is a live, working document that will be updated as required.
Triathlon ACT would like to acknowledge that the information in this document is not intended or implied as a substitute for government, professional medical or legal advice. The information is provided for general informative purposes only. As the knowledge and current circumstances around COVID-19 are constantly changing, Triathlon ACT does not guarantee that the information will always be accurate and up to date. The information included in this document will be regularly updated as circumstances change and as the situation evolves.
Aim: to provide guidelines for a safe return to triathlon training.
ACT Government Overview (May 13th 2020)
ACT Government will introduce Phase 1 of the recommencement of social sporting activity, organized sport. Phase 1 focuses on social participation, training and activities within small groups (up to 10 participants) with continuing emphasis on physical distancing and personal, respiratory hygiene. Under this first phase, physical contact, sharing of equipment and use of communal facilities is discouraged. If there is a requirement for equipment to be shared, then this equipment will need to be cleaned with disinfection after each use and between sessions. It is understood that Phase 2 will aim to progressively reintroduce groups greater than 10 with allowances for spectators and competitions and the use of indoor sports and respective venues. General hygiene and physical distancing principles will continue to apply.
The term “community sport” or “social sport” includes any organised sporting activity, be it through community clubs, commercial providers, individual activities or high performance training programs.
ACT Government Return to social sport and recreation factsheet (13 May 2020) Link
Key notes: (2)
- Phase 1 resumption allows for outdoor activities to recommence in small groups of no more than 10 people, including coaching and support staff. Numbers are restricted to a maximum of ten to ensure that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is minimised, and to maximize the effectiveness of contact tracing of an incident or should there be another outbreak.
- Small groups are required to be maintained at all times, with no intentional physical contact and that there is promotion of general hygiene and physical distancing, at all times.
- A number of small groups (of up to ten people) are allowed to train within an area, such as a football field or court, if they are clearly separated at all times and following the one person per 4 square metre rule.
Triathlon ACT’s Approach:
- Put the safety and well-being of the Australian community as the number one priority in triathlon return to sport activities.
- Prioritise the safety of our athletes, coaches, volunteers and the rest of the triathlon community.
- Provide return to triathlon recommendations for clubs and coaches that they can adopt based on specific direction from the ACT Government Health in relation to COVID-19 restrictions.
- Adhere to ACT Government Health COVID-19 restrictions.
- Ensure that the resumption of sport and recreation activities should not compromise the health of individuals or the community. (3)
- Collaborate with Triathlon Australia and other State and Territory Triathlon Associations (STTA’s) to compile and distribute triathlon-wide best practices.
- Communicate changes effectively and set expectations with the triathlon community in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory).
- Due to the rapidly changing situation, these guidelines will continue to be updated, as new information is made available. TACT will make every effort to update the TACT community on any new changes.
The following guidelines have been developed in line with the ACT Government Health restrictions (as at May 15th 2020) and guidelines; ACT Government Return to social sport and recreation factsheet (13 May 2020); AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport (May 2020); and in consultation with ACT Government Sport & Recreation, Triathlon Australia, State and Territory Triathlon Associations (STTA’s), Athletics ACT, Cycling ACT and Swimming ACT.
- Follow the ACT Government Health restriction of outdoor activities to recommence in small groups of no more than 10 people, including athletes, coaching, support staff, parents, guardians and spectators.
- Recommend the use of the COVID-Safe app to assist with contact tracing if required, should there be exposure to COVID-19. COVIDSafe app link
- Utilise a common sense approach to focus on participants attending the activity as close as practical to the start of any training and leave as soon as possible after the end of the session (Get in, train and get out philosophy), to minimize contact times in small groups of up to 10. (3)
- Participants are advised to not share their equipment with others (bikes, swim gear, drink bottles, nutrition and towels) and avoid touching the equipment of others.
- Participants are encouraged to bring their own filled water bottles (Avoid use of water taps).
- There should be no unnecessary body contact (e.g. handshaking, high fives, hugs and technique corrections).
- Promote ACT Government (2) and AIS (3) advice that triathlon training activities are coordinated in a spectator-free environment. (2)
- Practice physical (social) distancing and good hygiene measures.
- Post-training social activities are discouraged.
- It is recognised however that junior training in particular may require the attendance of a parent or guardian. Any spectators should separate from participants and maintain physical distancing from each other of at least 1.5m. (2)
- Use of communal pool with limited numbers maintaining the social distancing requirements of 1 swimmer per lane. (current as at 15th May 2020)
- Open water swimming is currently not recommended in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) due to safety concerns as a result of low air and water temperatures.
- Single file cycling is recommended due to the increased safety risk of riding two a breast, when respecting the physical (social) distancing of 1.5m (4 square metre rule).
- Avoid cycling in slipstream of others.
- The AIS recommends that cyclists maintain a 10m gap from the cyclist in front.
- Avoid running in slipstream of others.
- Be courteous of other athletes and the public in how much space you take up if running side by side, while being mindful of social distancing restrictions.
- When using athletic facilities or venues, please ensure that you are adhering to directional guidelines specific to that location.
Strength and Dryland Training (2)
- While sharing of equipment such as balls and weights is allowed it is discouraged and should be kept to a minimum.
- If equipment is shared it will require proper cleaning and disinfecting during and between sessions.
- Participants should practice good hand hygiene before and after training sessions.
Coach and Club Considerations
- Triathlon ACT encourages triathlon clubs and coaches to update their training risk management plans and to take into consideration Triathlon ACT Safe Return To Triathlon Training Guidelines. This includes the following:
- Establish an information and risk management plan specific to COVID-19 and make the club aware of plans and procedures in place at any facilities used by the club, coaches, and members. Within the plan address the following:
- What are the current local and ACT restrictions?
- What plans or restrictions do local facility operators have in place?
- How will you maintain physical distancing and prevent congregating?
- What measures are in place for the use of changerooms or toilets, and other hygiene measures including sanitisation of equipment and no sharing of equipment?
- Each club and coach are advised to consider appointing a committee role or coach within the club as a COVID-19 information officer. This position would be responsible for remaining current with local and state-based recommendations, guidelines, or associated changes to the COVID-19 situation.
- What training can still adequately be done from home? (3)
- How can training be staggered to minimise numbers and reduce contact? (3)
- How can the numbers at training and competitions be managed to maintain some social distancing? (3)
- Modifying training and competition times so that there are less people present at one time. (3)
- No socialising or group meals.
- Encourage all people involved in the triathlon activities to have downloaded and activated the COVIDSafe app.
- Check that all people involved in the triathlon activities are aware of good hygiene practices and physical distancing as appropriate to each individual discipline.
- Any person who may be engaged in delivering medical treatment or first aid, such as coaches or ride leaders, are advised to complete the COVID-19 infection control training prior to commencing in group training.
- Monitor attendance at each training activity and manage which groups of ten they are in.
- Create a training activity arrival and departure process including consideration for staggered training times start and finish times.
- Determine the triathlon activities that are non-essential (e.g. recovery sessions or meetings), which can be done remotely (e.g. at home or online).
- Consider implementing a health questionnaire and maintaining current emergency contact information to ensure someone is available to promptly assist should a participant fall ill.
- Prepare a contingency plan for if coaches and support personnel are unable to attend a training session.
- Have a plan for if someone develops symptoms of COVID-19 during an activity and how they can be safely transferred to a health facility.
- What is the plan to communicate the club’s plan to members, parents, coaches, and other club stakeholders?
- Take into consideration the AIS guidelines for assessment prior to formal training, possible cases of COVID-19, returning to training after recovering from COVID-19 and ongoing athlete management. Link
Government Sportsgrounds (2)
ACT Government sportsgrounds will be available for bookings from 16 May 2020 to support activities consistent with the Phase 1 resumption of social sport protocols. These include small groups as well as adherence to general hygiene and physical distancing principles. Bookings are required to make formal use of sportsgrounds for training.
- ACT Government Health COVID-19 Website Link
- ACT Government Return to social sport and recreation factsheet (13 May 2020) Link
- AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport (May 2020) Link
- Australian Government Health COVIDSafe app link
- Australian Government Health Good Hygiene For Coronavirus Link
- Australian Government Health Limits On Public Gatherings For COVID-19 Link
- Australian Government Health Social Distancing For Coronavirus Link
- Australian Government Health What You Need To Know About COVID-19 Link
- Triathlon Australia COVID-19 FAQ Link