SMA Launches COVIDSAFE Safer Sport Education Program

Oct 1, 2020

Sports Medicine Australia (SMA) is pleased to announce the launch of a revised, COVIDSAFE Safer Sport Education Program and new national course calendar. SMA has taken a leadership position in transforming the program into a COVIDSAFE model that will provide ongoing guidance and protection for the community sports sector.

The revamped COVIDSAFE course content and delivery format was developed under the guidance of SMA’s Community Sport Medical Advisory Working Group, chaired by Sport and Exercise Physician Dr Andrew Jowett (Vic) with important and valued contribution from working group members Sport and Exercise Physicians Dr Robert Reid (ACT) and Dr Donald Kuah (NSW), as well as Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist Ben Bowtell (WA) and experienced Sports Trainer Phil Driscoll (NSW).

The revised program and delivery model reflects updated evidence and expectations in response to COVID19 and maintains current, practical and relevant content and practice standards for community sport personnel, underpinned by resources developed in collaboration by Sports Medicine Australia, the Australian Institute of Sport and Sport Australia.

Dr Andrew Jowett said the new format provides flexibility for immediate and future needs.

‘To compliment the development of the COVIDSAFE guidelines for sports trainers as a joint initiative with Sport Australia and AIS, we are confident that the new Safer Sport Program format not only addresses the current challenges posed by the pandemic but also provides the adaptability required to meet future demand,” said Dr Jowett.

The key characteristics of the revised SMA COVIDSAFE Safer Sport Program course delivery formats include:

  • Detailed COVID19 Safety Plans for all course types
  • Online Learning about COVID19 infection control in the context of community sport, for course presenters and students
  • Pre-course COVID19 Screening for course presenters and students
  • Strict protocols for notification of illness
  • Limiting time in a shared closed indoor space to no more than 2 hours and delivering a greater proportion of course content via live online class platforms
  • Physical distancing (1.5m spacing; 1 person per 4sqm within training spaces) wherever possible
  • Stringent risk management controls during practical activities that require participants to be in close contact for longer than 15 minutes face to face (PPE, hygiene and cleaning)
  • Increased hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting protocols
  • Revised risk assessment, hygiene and cleaning record keeping protocols

SMA Chief Executive Officer Craig Knox has highlighted the importance of the development and the significant contribution of the working group in transforming the format of SMA’s flagship Safer Sport Program.

“These important measures ensure that our courses, workshops and events are carried out in a safe and socially responsible manner, prioritising the wellbeing of students and presenters as well as the athletes and communities that our students will work with once qualified”, says Knox.  “I am thankful to the Community Sport Medical Advisory Working Group for their expertise, and to our team and our dedicated network of committed and passionate course presenters, who have worked together to produce a new industry leading program format which is evidence-based, modern, safe and accessible.”

Delivery of the re-launched COVIDSAFE Safer Sport Education Program resumed in September 2020.

For more details and the national course calendar click here.