New COVIDSAFE guidelines for Sports Trainers

Jul 3, 2020

A new resource for Sports Trainers: Sports Trainer Practices in a COVIDSAFE Australia has been developed in collaboration by Sports Medicine Australia, the AIS and Sport Australia.

Sports Trainers play a pivotal role in the health, wellbeing and safety of participants at all levels of sport.  In community sport settings, an Accredited Sports Trainer may be the highest trained individual available to attend to onsite athlete sports medical needs.

To successfully perform the role of a Sports Trainer in a COVIDSAFE Australia, all Australian Sports Trainers are advised to follow a simple 4-step process – 1.Plan, 2.Prepare, 3.Respond, 4.Recover – to ensure the safety of all athletes, support staff and community members.

The resource forms part of Sport Australia’s Return to Sport Toolkit and includes expected practice standards for infection control education, policies and protocols including managing physical distancing among athletes and support staff, hygiene practices, cleaning of equipment and facilities, safe waste disposal, use of personal protective equipment, record keeping for attendance and possible contact tracing, notification and management of illness and importantly, protocols for safe injury and emergency management.

Sports Medicine Australia CEO Craig Knox said the resource is an important way to support community sport during this challenging period, recognising the essential role of more than 11,000 SMA Accredited Sports Trainers who are relied upon for safe training and competition by so many Australian sporting clubs and associations.

“We are all eager to get back to the games we love.  Community sport competition has begun to resume but we can clearly see that the pandemic is still having an impact on public health both globally and here in Australia”, Knox says. “Government and health authorities are telling us that we should expect periodic COVID19 outbreaks to occur and this resource helps us to be prepared to adapt and respond safely and responsibly.”

Chief Medical Officer for the AIS David Hughes says: “As with the other components of the of the Return to Sport Toolkit, this new resource is in step with the AIS Framework for Rebooting of Sport in a COVID-19 Environment and the Australian Government’s National principles for the resumption of sport and recreation activities.  Together with a COVID Safety Coordinator, an Accredited Sports Trainer is an essential part of an effective COVID-19 Safety Plan.”

Sports Trainer Practices in a COVIDSAFE Australia will be a new pillar of Sports Medicine Australia’s Safer Sport Program in the COVID-19 era.  “We are in the process of producing updated education content to assist new and existing Sports Trainers to understand their role in infection control and ensure they have the practical skills to support athletes, other staff and volunteers, families and communities to make a cautious and sustainable return to sport”, says Knox.

“We thank the AIS and Sport Australia for their input into this new resource and for its inclusion in the Return to Sport Toolkit,” Knox says. “We are confident that sports trainers and clubs will feel well supported to build these safety principles into a new normal for sport in Australia.”