Latest newsletter from GCA President, Rob Vines
Cricket & Football Agreement
Most if not all of you would be aware of the agreement that’s been reached between the peak football and cricket bodies (AFL Victoria & Cricket Victoria) regarding prospective community seasons.
GCA Secretary Peter Edwards circulated a copy of the agreement in his 25th May email to clubs, and it’s also available on the GCA Website (here) so please have a look at this if you’re not across the detail.
In summary the agreement has created a window of opportunity for local cricket and netball competitions to run finals into October, up until 18th October at the latest.
This agreement was reached following productive consultation with Cricket Associations across the State, facilitated in our case by the Victorian Country Cricket League (VCCL).
There may be varying opinions across the cricket community, but the GCA Board believes it’s a sensible arrangement in the unprecedented COVID19 circumstances, that properly puts the broader community interests ahead of individual sporting code interests.
The GCA Board supported the potential extension of local football into the traditional beginning of the cricket season, provided that legitimate football competitions are still able to occur.
It remains to be seen if local football and netball competitions in the Barwon region will be able to take up the opportunity with potential financial and logistical hurdles still to be overcome in the context of the gradual easing of community restrictions and the expectation of ongoing implementation of social distancing and hygiene protocols.
We have benefited from excellent dialogue with AFL Barwon and the other Cricket Associations during this period, which has established goodwill, and will hopefully become the ‘new normal’ going forward.
At this stage AFL Barwon is expected to make decisions about local football and netball competitions by 9th June.
Cricket Victoria Restructure
There has been considerable concern amongst Cricket Associations and the VCCL about the recent Cricket Victoria (CV) restructure announcement, which has resulted in significant cuts to the community cricket resources, and reduction in the field staff operating in regional Victoria.
This has been driven by COVID19 related financial issues affecting Australian cricket, but also an emerging desire within CV to redesign the community cricket service model.
While there has been concern about the justification for the scale of the cutbacks, and some disquiet about the way that CV leadership has managed the stakeholder communication, there is a genuine commitment from CV management to work with Cricket Associations and the VCCL to rebuild/redesign the Community cricket services in a smarter and more effective way.
The GCA Board will continue to advocate for a gradual increase of community cricket resources over time, and every effort to maintain critical cricket pathway programs in the meantime.
COVID19 Return to Train Guidelines
Cricket Victoria (CV) has recently released Return to Train Guidelines to support Clubs and Associations under the current Victorian Government COVID-19 restrictions to return to playing cricket in a phased approach.
These have been circulated to all clubs and are available on the GCA Website (here).
CV has made it clear that all Cricket Clubs and Associations have an obligation to strictly adhere to these protocols at every training session, with the focus to be ‘Get there Safely, Conduct Training and Leave Safely’.
There has been some speculation/suggestion that the GCA may introduce its own COVID19 training and playing guidelines for clubs to follow.
This is NOT our intention as we think it makes more sense to implement sensible CV guidelines and avoid unnecessary confusion or risk inconsistency by introducing our own.
CV’s guidelines will continue to be directed by advice from the Victorian State Government, together with Sport & Recreation Victoria (SRV), VicSport, Cricket Australia and other sources, and will continue to be updated as any major changes become known.
We can anticipate further updates to address on and off field game day protocols, and the GCA Board will be proactive in supporting and communicating expectations to clubs.
Cricket Barwon Advisory Committee
The Cricket Barwon Advisory Committee (CBAC) continues to work on regional governance models, with the expectation that tangible options will soon be ready for communication and feedback from Associations and clubs.
Options for a new regional cricket body ranging from a more Federation/Delegates Based Board through to a more Skills Based Board are being evaluated and tested.
I was recently asked the important question ‘what is the problem(s) that we are trying to solve’? In no specific order I think a new Cricket Barwon regional governance structure is seeking to address the following issues and opportunities:
Proposed Presidents Forum(s)
We are all challenged by what a safe COVID19 environment means and the impacts that may be felt by clubs in the coming season.
I’m keen for the GCA Board and Club leaders to work closely together to support each other in the period ahead.
In that context I intend to convene a President’s forum(s) in the lead up and during the season to share thoughts, concerns, ideas andinitiatives that would be important to air and helpful to us all.
I would be interested to receive feedback from club leaders on the timing and topics for discussion.
GCA Strategic Plan
We have been delighted by the feedback received from member clubs in response to the circulation of the final Draft GCA Strategic Plan.
The feedback has been largely positive and a number of constructive refinements have been suggested.
These have been collated and will be discussed at the June GCA Board meeting with a view to finalising and adopting the final plan assoon as possible.
Geelong Cricket Association
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