devo's volleyball – Australian volleyball: news and views

AJVC and the swine flu

Posted by devo on June 16, 2009

AJVC_2009The Australian Junior Volleyball Championships are to be held in Queensland from July 5 to 11.  There has been discussion about the effect of swine flu on the running of the tournament.

Volleyball Australia are monitoring the situation closely and right now are waiting on advice that Jon Gibbs (GM Volleyball Queensland) is seeking from Queensland Health. The spead of the disease in Queensland is a concern. Brisbane Girls Grammar School was closed on Saturday the 13th of June for 7 days, due to a confirmed case of Swine Flu at the school. Two girls from the Volleyball Australia Elite Development Program – Brisbane attend this school and have since been asked to not attend school or public events along with the rest of the school. At this stage, neither athlete has been diagnosed with Swine Flu or shows any signs of having the flu.

Volleyball Australia put out a statement on 2 June which included their policy on infectious diseases as well as providing guidance received from the Federal Government’s Guidelines to protect individuals from the infection of Swine Flu and that statement can be found on the Volleyball Australia website. Since the time of putting out the statement the National Case update has risen from 401 cases reported in Australia to over 1,200 cases nationwide with over 1,000 of them in Victoria.

V A logoVolleyball Australia has spoken to the states and in part says … This is of great concern to many who are planning to attend the Australian Junior Volleyball Championships in Brisbane in early July. VA and our host state and partner for the event Volleyball Queensland (VQ) have been discussing our options. We need to be prudent and provide the utmost safety for all attending the Championships. This means that decisions may impact on some individuals more heavily than on others, but we will do our best to keep you informed at every stage.

The worst case scenario would be a complete cancellation of the event, which we do not foresee. Many other national sporting organisations hosting events are in a similar position and have already cancelled events, but only those taking place in Melbourne at this stage. There are a number of other options which we are investigating (all of which have been utilised or contemplated by other sports and mass participation events) which include:

  • The potential banning of Victorian teams from entering
  • The potential to require teams to be quarantined prior to the start of the Championships
  • The potential to require teams to be medically tested prior to arrival at the venue

If the event goes ahead, which is likely, we will absolutely be taking precautions during the event including the possibility of sanitising hand cleanser and wipes, optional masks and other measures.

Our decisions in this regard will be largely taken based on advice received from our Volleyball Australia Medical personnel, the Federal Department of Health and the Department of Health in Queensland as host state. Further statements about our position in regards to the above will be issued once appropriate information has been gathered …

Volleyball Australia has also told the state bodies that … because we are unsure whether cases of the Swine Flu will increase or may actually dissipate in the coming weeks, we do not anticipate making an announcement about our final decisions until we are approximately 10 days to two weeks out from the event. However, if advice from states and your insurance investigations indicates that this decision needs to take place sooner, then we appreciate you getting back to us in that regard.

We are very aware of the gravity of the situation, we thank you for your patience and understanding and will provide updates on a regular basis as further information comes to hand.

10 Responses to “AJVC and the swine flu”

  1. Big Ren said

    If you would prefer AVC we can all play in individual bubbles and have no physical contact with the ball….. This is so stupid, Australia on the other side of the country is having more of a dilemma compared to Canada who is only a skip away from Mexico the origin country.

    Governments cause panic all the time!

    • Robbo said

      how about we all play in face masks and surgical gloves? Or maybe full biohazard suits…

      i like the idea of bubbles, that would be fun ;) haha

  2. chau said

    I wonder if the 4th round of the Women’s AVL to be held in Melbourne on 27/28 of June will go ahead.

    The finals are also in Melbourne 4 weeks after that.

  3. Country Boy said

    What a great over reaction to “a cold with an unfortunate name”. Next thing all athletes will need to undergo a full risk analysis, family history and medical certificate prior to squad try outs. Or just make sure everyone has a clean hanky. Please let common sense prevail and let the players play.

  4. Bob said

    Bloody ridiculous, I have spoken with several people in the medical field and they just laugh at how this has been blown out of proportion, but as they say keep signing those medicare forms. Run the tournament show some balls that we have more dash than these other “soft ceo’s” who cancel their carnivals!.

  5. Whosin said

    i don’t blame the AVF on this one….. the Media and the politicians are the ones that need to look at themselves. What a joke. More people are dying from the common cold!!

  6. Murph said

    I don’t know what is worse, people’s anger towards this post, or the post itself…

    Yeah, swine flu isn’t more dangerous than any other influenza (perhaps less so), but precautions must be taken for emerging diseases…A laissez-faire attitude towards the Spanish Flu didn’t end up too well, and I can understand why health authorities (its not just the media y’know) are being careful about this.

    Swine Flu is of minor concern, but I’m glad someone out there is trying to make sure new/emerging diseases aren’t left to their own devices…

  7. sam said

    being an athlete attending this event (from WA) i believe that one of the best options would be the quarantine of athletes prior to the tournament in order to prevent the spread of the flu but only if it is absolutely neccessary. to stop teams from participating would be a mistake in my opinion. Imagine more than 150 state level athletes training for 6 months, three times a week being told the tournament was cancelled ten days before. Also this is the last year for a number of athletes to play together or even in this tournament and it would be harsh to ruin their last event at the AJCV. I would definatley forgo shaking hands after matches or use antibacterial creams or even wear face masks just to be a part of the AJVC this year, this is how much the athletes care and how much the AVF should consider.

  8. edbinnie said

    I have to say that this reaction seems somewhat farcical. I agree that we should all be very careful about the spread of communicable diseases, but this seems to be a bit of nonsense.
    Rugby League players were tested positive for the flu, but still able to play that week. These players traveled from Melbourne back to Brisbane, to play there, and players from Sydney traveled to Brisbane to play against known infected players. Obviously they were given medicine etc and monitored. If all this hype were really a serious effort to contain the flu, then all commuter flights between states would be canceled, public events would be canceled, and there should be a systematic shutdown of our cities – this is what happened in Mexico City once the outbreak was established.

    Just a quick call out, but what was the infection count at the Dysentery outbreak at AVSC a few years ago (I believe it was 2004, but I can’t recall). 40 Degree weather, coupled with a stack load of kids down ill with a highly communicable disease – surely that would have established greater reaction than this. I would have thought it produced more hospitalizations?

    I agree you don’t want a laissez-faire attitude, but by the same token, if the government were serious, they’d cancel all AFL, NRL, other national sports, and major public events and ground commuter planes.

  9. devo said

    TANIA DE MARCHI, from Volleyball Victoria informs me that … We have had discussions re the tournament, and swine flu implications, and the tournament is still on track to go ahead, with Victoria competing.

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