Sport and Active Recreation Organisations : Dealing with COVID -19 Impacts

Information and ideas for dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 for Sport and Active Recreation Organisations

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Dealing With COVID-19

(Updated 20 May 2020)


sport nz Level 2



Sport NZ has shared guidelines for sport, recreation and play under Level 2 here.

Our key advice is to not rush to return, there needs to be quality planning completed to ensure your club members or participants can return safely. Before any organised activity takes place clubs and organisations need to have a COVID-19 safety plan in place and a contact tracing method where information is kept secure. 

Put yourselves in the shoes of your participant and walk through an "end to end" plan. This should start from when they arrive at your venue until they leave.What will they touch that needs to be wiped down? How will they social distance? How will they sign in? Who will manage and monitor the process? How will we communicate our process to our community?

More detailed planning advice and templates are available from Sport NZ here


Sport NZ have also recorded a webinar: Worksafe Plans in Play, Recreation and Sport which is available here


A key requirement for a return to action is establishing a contact tracing method.

Here are some options to investigate:




We encourage those who are returning to sport and recreation implement a register either via a manual sign-in form or a contactless sign-in using online forms.

Each organisation will need to evaluate the needs of their sport or recreational activity and how it will be managed, but what will make it easier for participants is if the process is similar across the network of sporting activities.  Talk to other clubs to see what they are implementing. 

There is be nothing worse for participants if they have to figure out which method is being used with each sport or facility they attend.

There will also need to be consideration for a hybrid approach where both an app and a manual "pen and paper" system operate for those without phones or the ability to use them.

For a pen and paper template and more information about contact tracing please see this link.

If you have more questions or require support with putting together your COVID-19 safety plan please feel free to contact the Sport Taranaki team. We are here to help.


Every situation is different but below are some things your organisation should consider:


The Charities Services website and the Incorporated Societies website have been recently updated and provides information on:

  • What to do if your AGM or Filing of Annual Returns falls in the lock down or social isolation period
  • Links to employer support for those with paid employees
  • Directions on what your board or committee should be thinking about in the short term
  • Links to other support

Advice on processing payroll relating to the Government Wage Subsidy is available here.


First get an accurate picture of your finances and what your potential income losses might be.  This will be important if a package of support is released from the Government for Incorporated Societies or Charitable Trusts as you will need to demonstrate the impact you have suffered. 

Your projected losses may not be as bad as originally thought and an accurate picture could reduce stress and uncertainty.

If there are costs to cover fundraising is an option. However it is important that you consider carefully how any appeal for funds while your membership is experiencing serious disruption of their own will be perceived, especially in the short term. Being clear about why funds are needed urgently and how much will help. If you can “add value” for people in some way, as well as raising funds then that could be a win/win scenario

You could consider:

  • Conducting online raffles supermarket vouchers could be a good prize.
  • Starting a Give a Little page.  
  • Try a membership appeal for donations. Ensure you make it clear why this is necessary and that their contribution will help ensure the survival of your organisation which they are already invested in.
  • If you are renting a facility, discussing the possibility of a rental holiday with your landlord.
  • If you have secured funding grants that you have not been able to use, because of event cancellations or other COVID – 19 impacts, talking directly to the funder as soon as possible to discuss your options.
  • If you have overdrafts, loans or term deposits talk to your bank about your options.
  • If you require support around your upcoming tax obligations or would like to know more about some tax relief options see the IRD website.

  • TSB Community Trust have announced their plans for funding here.


Keep Your Members Active

Keeping members engaged and active is an important way of keeping the spirit of your organisation strong amid the disruption.

You could consider:

  • Running live videos demonstrating drills and tricks that participants can practice at home.
  • Coaches or instructors running practices or activities in a virtual way.
  • Getting some of your higher profile members to go online with how they are keeping active while in isolation.
  • Creating a physical activity challenge and asking participants to post video evidence of their completion on your social media channels – examples of these challenges are planking for as long as you can, 25 press ups for 25 days etc.
  • Encouraging your members to stay healthy and active by promoting alternative methods of doing this. You can find some ideas for this on our Active Anywhere page.


Keeping connected to your members in a virtual way could be assisted through some of the platforms below.

  • Zoom : A free platform for video conferencing. It has a free limit of 40 minutes for group meetings. 
  • Skype : A free platform for video conferencing.
  • Facebook Live : A way to easily livestream meetings or events.


Some of the things your board could do through this lockdown period:

Continuing to communicate with your staff, members or volunteers is important to:

  • Check on their welfare – They may have been impacted directly physically and/or mentally.
  • Update them with cancellations, postponements and what you are doing through this period of isolation.
  • Maintain connections to your organisation so they will return when we move through the current response phase.


This could be a good opportunity to tell the stories of your sport and your club. These stories can help your members understand the good your organisation has done in the community and can inspire emotions that motivate people to support the club financially or in other ways.

Examples could include:

  • Things you have achieved so far 
  • Great events and highlights in your organisation's history
  •  Profiles of key people in your sport


  • Ensure that key people in your organisation can still connect in a virtual way to support each other and use the time as an opportunity to brainstorm ideas to keep your sport alive.
  • Reach out to others who might be in the same boat as you.  Potentially they may currently be your competitors but, if you think collaboratively, they may have knowledge and/or skills to share that will benefit everyone.
  • Use the time to plan.  Brainstorm new ways of doing things and plan for the future.  Perhaps review or create your organisational strategic plan. Templates for this can be found on the Sport Taranaki website.
  • Review policies and procedures. A pandemic response plan might be worth creating as we are currently getting a first-hand lesson that we can learn from for the future.

For more support with governance, planning and administration please consult: