Cheering ban looms for school swim carnivals
Cheering was set to be banned from school swimming carnivals at the indoor Sleeman Sports Complex (Chandler Aquatic Centre) and sport at the Nissan Arena under a Queensland Health COVID-19 Safe Plan.
Traditional war cries and cheering at the swimming carnivals would be discouraged, while the decision could also impact the atmosphere at Brisbane Bullets matches at Nissan Arena.
A Queensland Health spokesman said cheering restriction plans for both Sleeman Sports Complex (Chandler Aquatic Centre) and Nissan Arena were being devised.
In a written statement, Queensland Health denied a "specific public health direction'' prohibiting cheering at indoor sports events, "but Queensland Health does provide guidance on ways to minimise the infection risk''.
"Specific requirements may be incorporated into the COVID Safe Plans of indoor venues including both the Sleeman Sports Complex and Nissan Arena,'' the statement said.
"For events involving large crowds, these can include restricting cheering, shouting, singing and other behaviours that could potentially transmit the virus via respiratory droplets.
"Spectators are instead encouraged to show their support in safer ways including clapping, stomping their feet or banging drums.
"Some of the most important measures to keep people safe at events are physical distancing (or wearing face masks when physical distancing is not possible), and recording and storing details of all attendees in case it is required for contact tracing.''
The statement encouraged organisers of sport at both venues to "use common sense when they're showing their support''.
"Shouting and singing have been shown to increase the risk of transmitting the virus via respiratory droplets, which is why cheering restrictions have been incorporated into a number of site-specific plans.
"These site-specific plans are individually assessed to ensure appropriate public health controls are in place for each venue.
"The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Games has recently announced similar measures to protect attendees.
"Queensland has done well to keep COVID-19 out of the community and we urge everyone to remain vigilant to keep it that way.''
Despite restrictions on supporter behaviour, Queensland Health would not enforce restrictions on how many people can attend the 4300 seater indoor Sleeman aquatic centre arena which, for QGSSSA and GPS events, is normally at around 85 per cent capacity.
Next month supporters of the GPS (Greater Public Schools), QGSSSA (Queensland Girls' Secondary Schools Sports Association) CaSSSA (Catholic Secondary Schoolgirls' Sports Association) and AIC swimming teams will flock to Chandler where cheering has been so much a part of the theatre of the popular sporting events.
A spokesman for the QGSSSA said the "board will wait to comment until closer to the event'' while AIC and CaSSSA opted not to comment on the no cheering edict.
Originally published as Cheering ban looms for school swim carnivals