This year was unprecedented – a season disrupted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, to the best of our knowledge, no members of the Australia Table Football community contracted COVID-19. However, we were all affected in some way by the impacts it had on our lives and the way we lived them in 2020. I’d like to thank everyone for their compliance with restrictions and patience with returning to COVID safe competition. The health of our community should remain our top priority.
One of the rare highlights for the year in Australian Table Football was the 2020 Australian Grand Prix held in February at the magnificent Lakeside facilities associated with South Melbourne FC. It was fantastic to return to this location for a FISTF event for the first time since the 2018 Asian Cup.
With the FISTF season changed to a calendar year this simplifies some aspects of our communication and membership with ATFA. Membership will now align to a calendar year. Due to the disruption of 2019-20 season preventing competition for most of the year we are pleased to announce the 2021 memberships to ATFA will be free of charge. We hope this may also enable use to expand our reach into new and returning players. It is a credit to the ATFA Committees over the years that the organisation is able to be able to accommodate this.
2021 will no doubt continue to raise challenges as the world continues to battle the pandemic. Significant doubt remains at present regarding the hosting of the Asian Cup in Japan and the World Cup in Italy against the COVID-19 backdrop. Locally, Australia is making significant progress in managing the pandemic and there now appears to be a possibility to return to hosting FISTF events in Australia as domestic borders re-open and restrictions ease. We must all remain vigilant to the necessary controls and compliant to restrictions for the health and safety of competitors, their families and the wider community. I will continue to provide advice, when requested, to clubs and hosts of events, in developing COVID safe plan that they may require.
I look forward to seeing you all again, and returning to safe competitive action. But above all, stay safe and healthy – both physically and mentally.