The key to survival for sporting organisations and clubs is being flexible and ready to embrace change after the Covid-19 lockdown, says Sport Bay of Plenty sport manager Nick Chambers.
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The future is uncertain but Sport Bay of Plenty is providing as much guidance as it can for the different stakeholders within the sector.
"Probably the main challenge is not knowing when they can restart, what they can do. I think that uncertainty gives them a sense of anxiety.
"There are two sides of it. They're most likely going to have to adapt what they do in terms of shorter seasons or different formats of games but until they actually know when they can start to implement something it's hard to plan for different scenarios," Chambers said.
Organisations and clubs were able to start thinking about what adaptations they could make.
Lockdown was also an opportunity to work on other parts of their operations which they may not usually have time for.
"It may be in a looser, not necessarily defined sense but for example; what would a sub-regional competition look like as opposed to a whole region? That may potentially be driven by the number of participants you're allowed in any one place at one time.
"We're trying to get them in a headspace where they are able to formulate plans without locking them in. The main piece of advice is to think about your sport as not necessarily the same as it was before Covid-19 because there's obviously going to be restrictions and a flow-on effect meaning 2020 at least is going to look quite different.
"Some have viewed this as an opportunity to work on things they've wanted to but never found the time so that's been a positive. Lots of codes have been doing wellness sessions, webinars, leadership sessions and generally across the whole sector everyone has been very open in sharing the opportunities they've been able to leverage."
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One of those organisations is the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union and chief executive officer Mike Rogers said the ability to get out in the community and help people get active would have an impact. New Zealand Rugby has postponed all community rugby indefinitely, in line with level 4 guidelines.
"The key things for us is, once we get through Covid-19, how are we going to help clubs attract people back to their clubs and be a part of the membership of playing rugby again. That's a big focus for our community rugby staff, staying engaged with our clubs and schools and making sure as soon as we have the ability to get back and play, we're in a good position to try and push on quickly.
"The biggest challenge for us is probably the unknown around the ability to return and when we do return, what state our community and society will be in? How do we make sure sport plays an important role in that?"
He said the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union was using the time in lockdown to continue offering coaching, leadership and development opportunities online and had seen a good level of interest from the community.
Chambers said Sport Bay of Plenty would continue to work alongside sporting organisations and helping to guide them and ensure they were in the best position possible to bounce back.