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To: Squash Otago Club Presidents, Administrators, and Committee Members
An update from Squash New Zealand..................................
After a very long delay we finally have some clarity around how the COVID Protection Framework will operate for squash clubs when all of New Zealand moves into the traffic light settings (COVID Protection Framework) at 11.59pm on Thursday 2 December. Auckland will move into Red, while the settings for the rest of the country will be confirmed next Monday 29 November. Based on the updated information provided by Sport NZ this afternoon and the updated COVID Protection Framework here is how social sport will be able to operate with and without vaccination certificates under each traffic light setting. The Sport NZ website will also be updated shortly. As you can see clubs that don’t wish to mandate proof of vaccination to those entering their facility via vaccination certificates will face more gathering number restrictions under all settings, however clubs do have the ability to open under all settings whether vaccine passes are checked or not.
There are also separate restrictions for 'events', which cannot go ahead under Red or Orange and limited to 100 people under Green if vaccination passes are not checked. If passes are checked, they can operate without restrictions under Orange and Green, or capped at 100 people under Red. The Order which will determine exactly what an 'event' is an opposed to a 'gathering' has yet to be released, so we will send advice as to whether this applies to club tournaments or not once we have that.
Here's a list of FAQ's we hope can clarify how the system will work for clubs;
How do we get proof of vaccination from members?
Club committee members must sight a member's My Vaccine Pass, and it is strongly recommended it is verified as well for new members or casual players (via a form of ID such as drivers licence or NZ Passport). A club can record that the member has provided proof of vaccination and the expiry date. If this is provided electronically via email, the club cannot store the vaccine pass and must delete the email containing the vaccine pass.
How can we record proof of vaccination?
Many club management systems such as HelloClub and Pay2Play have already released upgrades allowing clubs to record whether a member has provided proof of vaccination and the expiry date. iSquash will have this upgrade added very shortly (targeting early next week).
What about Privacy Laws?
Clubs need to ensure that only relevant people (current committee members) have access to a member's vaccination record or any personal information. Ensure those who have club committee access are up to date. It is signified by this icon in the Member Management section of iSquash.
How do we play squash with 1m distancing (Red setting)?
The 1m distancing rule relates to the capacity of a defined space (up to a maximum of 100), not that everyone must distance by 1m.
Can a club switch between operating under vaccinated and unvaccinated settings?
Yes, as long as the facility is cleaned between groups. For example, in the Red setting a club may set aside times where the maximum number of people is 25 and vaccine passes aren't checked, and then close the club for a clean and reopen with vaccine passes being checked and less restrictions. It will be up to each club to determine if this is practicable for their facility and capability with a relevant H&S policy in place.
How do we check proof of vaccination from non-members when running tournaments?
Proof of vaccination for all graded members will also need to be recorded in iSquash. We are working with the iSquash developers to add a feature where clubs can specify whether a player is required to be vaccinated or not when registering for a tournament in iSquash, which will link to their profile. If a player doesn't register via iSquash, proof of vaccination (if required) will need to be sighted before the player enters the club to participate.
Can a negative test be used instead of a vaccine pass?
No, a player must produce their official My Vaccine Pass certificate.
Do having juniors under 12 at the club make it an unvaccinated gathering?
No, as children under the age of 12 are not able to get the vaccine, having them within the club does not make it an unvaccinated gathering.
We realise the official guidance is likely to make the decision harder for some clubs and easier for others. We will hold a webinar via Teams for all clubs next Monday 29 November at 5.30pm for any club committee members who still have questions or want some clarity around how their club can implement their policy under the new settings. The link to the webinar is here.
More guidance is expected on Monday along with the announcement of which settings regions outside of Auckland will be in, so will we share any relevant updates to clubs as we receive them.
National Development & Operations Manager
The 2021 Otago District Junior Open in conjunction with the 5th & final tournament of the HEAD Junior Series was held at the weekend. Originally to be played in Cromwell at the end of August and postponed due to COVID, it was relocated to be played as a one-day tournament and hosted by Squash Otago at the Otago Squash Club. Although numbers were smaller than usual, we were grateful to the travelling players from Wanaka, Queenstown, Cromwell, Invercargill and Oamaru that helped boost numbers and make up the the five draws.
The 2021 Squash Otago Junior Champions are Vinnie Gable (Otago Squash Club) and Melanie Button (Otago Squash Club).
The winner of the 2021 HEAD Junior Series was Oisin Corbett (Wanaka) on 720 points from Matthew Botting (Wanaka) on 710 points. The Wanaka Club dominated the series with 6 of the 8 who attended all 5 tournaments coming from that club with Delta Brenssell (Cromwell) and Riley Bridgman (Otago) making up the rest of the field. The other Wanaka players were Ethan Prince, Alex Resnick, Kyan Prince & Rui Fukaya.
The winner of the 2021 Squash Otago Personality/Fair Play Cup was Ben Clark from Queenstown.
The 2021 Dunedin interclub prize-giving was finally held even if six weeks later than planned. The Otago University Squash Club hosted the event at the Alhambra-Union Football Club rooms. A very tight Dunedin 'Top Club' Award was won by Pirates Squash Club (left) on 9.76 points from Otago University Squash Club on 9.22 point. Sunnyvale came in third on 7.00. A much needed fun night was provided by the students after a very trying year with the students doing an outstanding job as hosts. Iris Bugarski (Taieri - below left) won the 2021 'Most Improved Female Players Award' with Taine Win (Otago University - below right) taking out the 'Most Improved Male Player's' trophy.
The Squash New Zealand National Awards will be held virtually on Saturday, 11th December 2021 via Website & Facebook (more information will be advised in due course). Nominations are being called for from clubs for the following criteria with achievements only considered from the period 1st October 2020 to 30th September 2021. Nominations forms have been sent to Club Presidents by email and are due in with Squash Otago - firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, 22nd October 2021.