WaiBOP’s message to players and refs: ‘Keep fit and active during Level 3’

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WaiBOP Football is encouraging players and referees to keep fit during the Level 3 stage of New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown so they can be ready when the sport gets the go-ahead to resume.

In her latest update to clubs in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty, WaiBOP Football Chief Executive Karyn Walters (pictured) said her team was doing all they could to “hit the ground running when we return to a level that allows activity.”

She said the WaiBOP staff, who are working from home, had agreed to move to a 4-day week during May, meaning their service will be closed Fridays.

WaiBOP had been successful in applying for the initial government wage subsidy and had started a consultation process with staff as to how work during the April-June period would work.

“WaiBOP is working hard behind the scenes with various councils, RSO’s and other sports to look at all options which may necessitate extending the season. This includes keeping abreast of the Ministry of Health’s guidelines and ensuring compliance,” Walters said.

“I am confident that we are doing as good as job as possible in our scenario planning (both operationally and financially) and information flow to our members.

“We will continue to keep our standards high as we know that is what our clubs expect.

“You can rest assured we are looking at every possible option to be able to deliver to our clubs a football season; community sport will be at the forefront of getting some sort of normality back into society.

“The move to Alert Level 3 will bring no change in terms of playing organised football and futsal. Any decision on what we can do at each level will be reviewed by NZ Football and communicated to us all. We will pass this information on when it becomes available.

“At this point in time community football is still postponed until at least Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

“I’d encourage players and referees to keep themselves fit and active so that we can get into football as soon as possible once we have the go-ahead. Coaches should be in regular contact with their players too.

“We do not know what the future holds but we will continue to plan based on information available to us and advocate for our game at every opportunity.”