January 18 2022
STATEMENT GPS TERM 1, 2022 SPORT AND ACTIVITIES COMMENCEMENT
The Great Public Schools Association of Queensland (GPS) continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, including the current outbreak in Queensland and the spread of the Omicron strain.
The GPS Association, alongside the nine (9) Member Schools, has been working on scenario planning for the commencement of GPS Sport and Activities for 2022. The priority of the GPS Association is to provide students with the opportunity to participate safely in Sport and Activities and to maintain a safe environment for staff, parents and volunteers.
Following the January 9 announcement by the QLD State Government regarding the delayed commencement of face-to-face learning, changes to the planned start of the GPS Sport and Activities schedule have been considered.
Term one will see the nine (9) GPS member schools participate in Cricket, Volleyball, Debating, Swimming, Rowing and Music.
To safeguard all those in GPS Sport and Activities a graduated start to GPS Sport and Activities has been agreed to. Commencing Round one (1) (28/29 January), GPS Competitions will be conducted for Flagship Teams, Opens and A division teams in year levels 7-12 for Cricket, Debating and Volleyball. Championship sports of Swimming and Rowing will commence with reduced numbers 12 years and over on 28 and 29 January respectively. Schools will be allowed to train and participate in trial matches as approved by individual School Headmasters/ Principals in the lead up to a return to full scheduled competition in round three (3), 11/12 February.
The GPS Music Showcase scheduled for Thursday, February 10 has been postponed. This decision is due to the short turnaround between the return of face-to-face learning on Monday, February 7 and the currently scheduled Showcase date. The GPS Association will work with Member Schools for a suitable date with an announcement expected in the coming month.
The GPS Association realise the latest developments may create challenges and disappointment for some students, but please be assured these decisions have been taken as a necessary response to safeguarding our boys and the community during the evolving COVID-19 situation.
As per the usual GPS protocol, weekly safety meetings will occur before each round, with match day schedules released the week of the competition.
GPS Member Schools will review COVID-Safe Plans and adopt the principles below regarding movement around venues, social distancing and hygiene:
- Arrive, Play, Leave: Arrive at the venue ready to play, play, and depart immediately post-match.
- Restriction of indoor spectators in line with density requirements.
- Recording of spectator via QLD QR Check-in app.
- Designated ingress and egress points, where possible.
- Clearly visible social distance markers.
- No co-mingling of groups in playing spaces/zones.
- Implementation of strict hygiene measures at all entry and exit points, communal areas
- Minimal use of changerooms.
- Adjustment to post flagship match functions.
- Reduced capacity of canteen and catering facilities, including possible closure.
These are difficult decisions, and the GPS Association appreciates the support of all nine (9) member schools in playing their part to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19. The GPS Association will continue to review the COVID-19 situation in the days, weeks and months ahead and make further decisions as required.