Treasurer of Darts Queensland, Jo Austen, caught up with DA Media to chat all things darts throughout the pandemic period, the DQ forecast for 2021 and much more.
How have current COVID restrictions in Queensland impacted darts across the State?
“Restrictions is Queensland have eased considerably, we are allowed to operate under a COVID-plan. We can have one person, per four square meters in our venues.
“With darts we have playing fields, so we have to take that playing field out of our halls, which restricts our numbers.
“For example, the club I’m locally involved with can only have 24 in the off-field area and competing. This essentially halves the amount of people allowed in the hall. So we have to spread our play over two nights, using two venues on both those nights.”
What have Darts Queensland done to effectively communicate with members, clubs, and associations throughout the pandemic?
“We have our email contact and we also started doing Zoom meetings on a more regular basis. We meet with our 10 Zone delegates and five Directors within Queensland, we’re all dialling in and meeting that way.
“Prior to the pandemic, DQ would only meet twice per year face-to-face, and since the start of the pandemic we have had four Zoom meetings. We have also had observers dial in, to see what we do behind the scenes.
“With the restart to sport DQ put in our COVID-plan through the state government, who allowed us to review all our association plans – which was part of the condition.
“So the Board was pretty busy with 30 associations’ COVID-plans to review and approve – once they were correct. The process is ongoing as once restrictions change, plans need to be amended.
“One Director has been out seeing a lot of the Clubs around Queensland, to give them a hand. So we’re visibly there for our members, to help them, which has been well received by our Clubs.”
What can members expect for the remainder of 2020 and heading into 2021?
“We have told them (members) COVID is here to stay and we have to learn to live with it.
“By doing so we need to ensure we’re following our plans to a tee and keep up the good work. A lot of clubs out there are doing the right thing, and those who weren’t have changed their plans to make it work for their individual clubs – and that’s really encouraging to see.
“The Clubs in Queensland are hosting a few weekend tournaments. They’re taking nominations prior to the event and they’re capping that, so we encourage our members to register online.
“With our junior contingent, we cancelled our championships this year in the state, but we are looking at kicking off 2021 with juniors having a State Championships. This is normally held later in the year, but we want to try and keep the kids involved because they are the future of our sport.
“Our members who have joined this year will see flow on benefits next year, with reduced membership fees.
“We’re also giving back to members with Zone Opens, where every Zone who host an Open will receive monetary support from DQ.
“I would like to give a huge thank you to all of the volunteers that run the local Clubs and Zones, as well as the Directors of Darts Queensland for the extra hours they have all had to put in, to keep our sport alive during these trying times.
“In addition to reviewing Covid-plans of affiliated associations, we were also asked to review plans for the Clubs that are not affiliated, and we’re happy to do so!
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