Kyabram Free Press

Cross-border leagues await guidance on vaccinatio­n framework

- By Josh Huntly

Two cross-border football-netball league bosses have admitted that ‘no jab, no play’ measures could be a reality at community sport in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Murray League general manager Dale Norman and Picola District operations manager Shane Railton added their views to those of Heathcote District League chair Peter Cole, who earlier announced his support for vaccine requiremen­ts at a district level.

No framework has been announced by any sport governance bodies about vaccinatio­n policies, and Norman noted nothing was set in stone.

He said it was a matter for AFL Victoria to mandate such policies, forecastin­g the reality of community sport in the pandemic.

"I think it's a matter of reality that if you're not double-jabbed or if you haven't been vaccinated, you probably won't be allowed to play sport," Norman said.

"But it shouldn't be up to every individual league or any individual club to make that stance, I think it needs leadership from the governing body to mandate such a condition.

"At this stage, given that there hasn't been sufficient (vaccine) supply, it's hard to mandate anything in terms of vaccinatio­ns, but by next year when everybody's had their opportunit­y to be vaccinated I'm certain that if you haven't had a jab, or you haven't been vaccinated, you won't be allowed to play sport.

"We are fully supportive of that." Railton said his league was also yet to receive any guidance, predicting difficulti­es in enforcemen­t of any policies.

"I think it's highly likely — to do anything you're going to need to do it," Railton said.

"The policing of it makes it quite difficult. I think it will be much like everything else, it will be the responsibi­lity of the person.

"We've got no direction from the AFL or any sporting body to suggest that will be the case."

Both leagues confirmed the cancellati­ons of their seasons in late August following ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns.

It was the second season in a row that finals could not be hosted.

 ?? ?? Waiting on advice:
Vaccinatio­n mandates could be a reality for community sport in the future.
Waiting on advice: Vaccinatio­n mandates could be a reality for community sport in the future.

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