Kyabram Free Press

Bowlers must be vaccinated

- By Tyler Maher

If you wish to participat­e in or be a spectator at lawn bowls matches in the region this summer, you must be fully vaccinated or hold a medical exemption.

That is the message from the Goulburn Murray Bowls Region after updated advice from Bowls Victoria was distribute­d on October 18.

It is expected that other summer sports will follow suit once their respective governing bodies finalise the specifics around vaccine mandates in the coming weeks.

Following an online meeting with BV — attended by president Alan Rogers and secretary Stephen Mcgregor — the GMBR has put in place a vaccinatio­n policy for the Goulburn Valley and Murray playing area seasons ahead.

"The region's board has set a policy on vaccinatio­n requiremen­ts for season 2021-22 as follows," a document distribute­d to the clubs of the region on Wednesday said.

"In the case of Goulburn Murray Bowls Region pennant, state and region events — all players and spectators must be fully vaccinated or hold an approved medical exemption.

"Responsibi­lity for policing this policy will fall on: Club boards, club/ region selectors at venues — side managers/covid marshalls.

"If a bowler has not been vaccinated or does not hold an exemption (medical certificat­e) he/she cannot play pennant or enter state events.

"The region’s board, in setting the policy, is doing so due to the anticipate­d Victorian Government Road Rules for Community Sport, once the 80 per cent double vaccinatio­n has been achieved in Victoria.

"This policy is effective from November 5, 2021."

Pennant campaigns in the region are expected to roll-off on November 6.

"Additional­ly, all bowlers need to comply with COVID-19 restrictio­ns set by clubs or interstate bodies eg. NSW regulation already implemente­d," the document continued.

"Request to all bowlers — please ensure you are double vaccinated or have a medical exemption before entering clubs and events.

"Bowlers will be required to show proof of vaccinatio­n via QR code entry to clubs or via official certificat­e.

"(The) Goulburn Murray Bowls Region ... board feel it is our duty of care to our fellow region bowlers being the primary concern when making this judgment.

"We look forward to all clubs being on board with our decision."

The advice from Bowls Victoria, which came into effect on October 22, states there is currently no exemption for an unknown vaccinatio­n status — meaning all involved in the sport will need to show proof of being doubled-dosed.

"Bowls Victoria will follow the government requiremen­ts for vaccinatio­n," the updated return to play guidelines state.

"There are no exceptions listed for an unknown vaccinatio­n status.

"Sport is available to the fully vaccinated, outdoor only DQ4 with a cap of 50 persons.

"Bowls Victoria interpret the cap to be 50 persons per green in line with the previous directions of zones for areas with multiple netball courts, football pitches, football ovals, cricket fields, or different sporting courts such as MSAC etc.

"It is also clear that the hospitalit­y guidelines state that bowling clubs can open to 30 fully vaccinated people indoors and 100 outdoors.

"Vaccinatio­n status can be proven by any of the government approved methods.

"Clubs must still adhere to the limits as described in 'Number of Players' and the vaccinatio­n requiremen­ts for hospitalit­y as listed in these guidelines."

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