ROCHESTER has put its Goulburn Campaspe and Shepparton District junior league seasons on hold for this weekend at least.
On Friday, the Tigers confirmed they had pulled their under 10, 12 and 14 teams out of action due to the spread of the coronavirus in regional Victoria.
In a post on its Facebook page, Rochester said another announcement regarding their participation would be made in coming days.
“The committee of the RJFC have made the decision to suspend the involvement of all football teams until further notice and effective immediately,” the post said.
“This will mean we will not participate in games this weekend. We believe this decision is in the best interest of all participants at our club and the community as we navigate the prevailing environment that COVID-19 has presented to all of us.
“The decision doesn't come lightly and will be reviewed again in coming days after further discussion at club and league level and in line with evolving government directives.
“The club thanks all participants, families, sponsors and the local community for their support so far this season and we will keep you all posted as to any further developments.”
GCJFL operations manager Nate Dedman said that the decision was a clear indication of the commitment and care that the Rochester Junior Football Club had to their community.
“Firstly, we must applaud the courageous and selfless decision that the Rochester Junior Football Club has made,” he said.
“The threat of COVID-19 is something that we all take extremely seriously and given the current situation all parties felt that this was the most sensible thing to do”.
“We must also make it clear that this decision is not due to a returned test, it is simply a decision made by a club committee committed to playing their role in stopping the spread of this pandemic.
“We look forward to welcoming the Rochester Junior Football Club back on the grounds in round three”.
Dedman added it was a clear reminder of the importance of working together and following the Return to Play Protocols provided by AFL Victoria.
“The feedback around the grounds from last weekend was nothing short of positive. Everyone was careful to follow the recommendations and directions from our Club COVID-Officers which led to a safe and inclusive round of Football”.
“It is vital however that we continue to play our part by keeping spectators to a minimum, sanitizing regularly and ensuring that we get in and get out following the conclusion of our matches. We’re proud of the work our Clubs have done so far and know that this will continue”.
Due to the decision, the following GCJFL games will be postponed;
Under 10s – St Augustine’s v Rochester
Under 12s – LBU v Rochester
Under 14s – LBU v Rochester
All other scheduled games remain confirmed to go ahead.