News Details

COVID-19 Update

13 Mar 2020

Dear Zones, Clubs, Members and Stakeholders

Over the weekend, the Board in consultation with the Zones agreed the best way forward is to align with the “social distancing” strategy being espoused by many health experts.

That means any activity that requires travel, events or meet ups being held over the next 30 days will be postponed or where necessary cancelled.

Today the Government directed that non-essential gatherings over 500 people are banned from Monday 16th March. The AOCRA Board have agreed at the AOCRA National level, all events scheduled during the next 30 days will be postponed.

Each Zone have their own risk management plan and will announce how they will manage their scheduled events during the next 30 days. The Zones are working with Clubs on next steps and will communicate directly to all members within their region. With this being an ever changing situation day by day, the Zones will continue to update members in their region as required.

Our national sub committees are currently working on strategies to ensure we continue the momentum in certain areas of the sport where face to face contact is not required. This includes using virtual meeting tools where possible. Our goal is to continue to monitor the situation, follow expert advice and take the appropriate action.

This is a complex undertaking and we thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience. While we will certainly have challenges, we will look to each of you to help us navigate them.

Please continue to be in direct contact with your Zone regarding next steps in your region and keep an eye out for further AOCRA announcements via email and Facebook.

We recommend everyone follow the health experts’ advice to limit your exposure and practice social distancing for all non-essential activities and hygiene guidelines.

Finally, maintaining open communication is critical to all at this time as the situation is changing day to day. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Yours in paddling

Katherine Cole
President, AOCRA


Dear Zones, Clubs, Members and Stakeholders

Australian Canoe and Racing Association Ltd (AOCRA) is monitoring daily the current situation in relation to Coronavirus and is receiving regular updates from; Sport Australia, International Va’a Federation (IVF), the AIS, the Australian Department of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

There is a link on the Australian Department of Health website and also a link on the AIS website under Health & Wellbeing which is updated daily with information in relation to sporting activity and also general information that is relevant to all members of the public and certainly would be of use to our wider outrigger paddling community.

The current situation with the coronavirus throughout the world presents challenges to everyone. It is important that as leaders of our sport, we provide the latest information based on facts and share that information to encourage people to stay informed and take action on advice from reputable sources who are at the forefront of this virus in Australia.

Today, the Government announced it will adopt the medical advice and ban non-essential organised gatherings of more than 500 people from this Monday 16 March as a precautionary measure. AOCRA fully support this directive and will provide a separate communication on the upcoming National OC6 Marathon Titles and Aussie AITO scheduled to be held this May 2020.
People who are unwell should not attend public gatherings. AOCRA considers the safety and wellbeing of its members and supporters of paramount importance and as such will be monitoring the advice provided by Federal and State government and agencies. If necessary, further appropriate action to minimise risk to members and supporters will be taken based on advice of those agencies.
AOCRA advocates the following guidelines set out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) authorities:
• Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand sanitizers or soap and water;
• When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or a tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands;
• Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough;
• If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.

AOCRA respects all clubs and their members on how they may choose to participate in our outrigger paddling community as we are presented with an ever changing situation with the impact of the COVID-19 virus. We encourage all clubs and members to stay informed on the basic protective measures the public can take, such as the ones listed by the WHO.

AOCRA position on Club Outrigger Training and Community Activities

AOCRA recommends all Clubs and Members (athletes, coaches, managers, referees, officials and spectators) of the Association implement (at a minimum) the below set of actions for upcoming regattas of less than 500 people in a non-essential mass gathering and training sessions:
Replace handshaking at the start and conclusion of games with (for example) fist pumps or thumbs up.
Use labelled water bottles. These must be strictly single person use. Avoid use of communal water bottles.
Take care with food handling at games; for example, fruit, snacks or lollies. Use tongs to serve or reconsider shared food.
Continue to cover nose and mouth with tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing.
Keep 1.5m distance from anyone that is coughing or sneezing.
Use alcohol-based hand wash available at the club facilities, officials tables, team benches and seat stands outside the change room.
All athletes, coaches, managers and officials should wash their hands with soap and water and dry with paper towel prior to training and outrigger regatta events.
Gloves should be worn when attending to athletes with injuries – especially against blood exposure.
Associations and Clubs should keep track of attendance at training and competitions to facilitate contacting at risk people if a case is detected with one of their team members or opponents.
Any Member with flu-like symptoms should self-exclude from playing, coaching, training and spectating at the first sign of the symptoms and seek medical advice.
Further advice on the Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found from the following recommended sources:
Australian Government Department of Health ( or for general advice regarding COVID-19, call the Australian Government's Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080
World Health Organisation Link:…/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

All members of the outrigger paddling community should note that this is a rapidly changing situation and advice could change at any time. AOCRA will update the outrigger paddling community next week on the upcoming National OC6 Marathon Titles & Aussie AITO may 2020. Further, we will continue to communicate new advice and recommendations as advised by the respective Federal and State Government agencies.

Yours in paddling

Katherine Birch Cole
President, AOCRA Ltd