Park Orchards Football Club Inc.
Tuesday 17th March 2020
To our Loyal Sharks Family:
We would like to take this opportunity to update you on the Club’s approach in responding to the COVID-19 virus.
There are three clear messages we would like to communicate to our Sharks Family today:
- We will keep you updated with our decision making that affects our Club on all matters around the COVID-19 virus and let you know what we will be doing together as soon as we possibly can.
- No matter what happens, our response will be one that will help support, care for, and not leave any of our Sharks family behind.
- We are in this together, and in true Sharks spirit we will set up measures to make sure everyone has support #ALL-IN
WHAT WE CURRENTLY KNOW IN SUMMARY:
Victoria has been declared under a state of emergency. Victoria’s state of emergency gives the chief health officer the power to quarantine groups of people or place areas under social distancing measures. The declaration provides Victoria with the ability to enforce a ban on gatherings of more than 500 people and a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for those returning to the country from overseas (which is the case for several people in our community already).
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan on Tuesday stated that AFL matches would be played behind closed doors without fans.
Whilst we await further information from AFL Vic and Our Association Lead EFNL competition management what we do know is that what we’re dealing with is something that is unprecedented, and it will continue to change rapidly.
So, as a valued family member of the Sharks community, you can expect to be hearing from the Club as we have updates on the situation.
As we sit today, the EFNL have made the decision to IMMEDIATELY SUSPEND all training, practice matches and events across the entire competition until further notice.
I think we would all agree, in times like this, our safety and welfare of our whole community becomes our number one priority.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT US IMMEDIATELY?
As a community that is so valued in the heart of Park Orchards but also extends out right across the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne, it is important to stick together and help each other. It’s essential to be mindful of several things that this pandemic is going to cause. There are things we can control, and others we cannot.
Here are some things to consider:
- Isolation can bring loneliness and potential mental health issues
- Some of our community may lose their jobs and income source
- Others may lose their business and ability to provide for their family
- Our season launch, Presidents Lunch and ANZAC day game will likely not go ahead at this stage
- Our regular meeting on a Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday Nights will cease for now
- All practice matches, training and club gatherings will be on hold until further notice
WHAT IS OUR RESPONSE?
On Thursday 26th of March at 6:30 pm our community will be coming together to hear how we will be moving forward as a club for the season – #ALL-IN. It is important that you make every effort to attend this briefing up at Domeney Reserve, Park Orchards (likely to be outside).
We will be activating something important for our Club that will help us get through this difficult time.
So, if you are an old or current member, player, sponsor, volunteer, and call yourself a Sharks believer – come and join us for this short briefing – everyone is welcome.
We’re in constant contact with AFL VIC and EFNL, and we continue to take advice from the State and Federal Governments, as well as the relevant medical authorities.
Protecting the health and wellbeing of our players, coaches, members and volunteers (as well as their family members) is our first priority. With health and wellbeing as the priority, we will take the necessary steps to contain and delay the spread of the virus as a community.
If you have already signed up as a member for the 2020 season, we’d like to take this chance to sincerely thank you for your commitment to the Park Orchards Football Netball Club. If you are a sponsor and have taken a step to commit also, thank you so much for believing in our Club.
More than ever, we need everyone’s support and commitment to what will be a ‘different’ season. Jump on the website and join today.
Whatever the outcome of the 2020 EFNL season, your contribution to the Club will prove to be extremely critical as we brace for what will be a significant shortfall in revenue over the next few months caused by the effects of this virus in addition to our 2020 season possibly without “home” games at the Shark Tank.
Once again, thanks for your ongoing support of the POFNC, stay safe and healthy, and we’ll be in touch with further updates as soon as we can.
Jeremy Thomas and the POFNC Committee