Gymnastics Australia position on participation for Olympic Gymsports to World Championships in 2021

Due to the ongoing nature of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the most recent update of the Federal Government policies on international travel restrictions, Gymnastics Australia (GA) has made the difficult decision that it will not select or send Teams to participate in the 2021 World Championship events of Olympic Gymsports.

2021 World Championship events include:

18/10/2021 - 24/10/2021 - 50th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships KITAKYUSHU (JPN)
27/10/2021 - 31/10/2021 - 38th FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships KITAKYUSHU (JPN)
18/11/2021 - 21/11/2021 - 35th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships BAKU (AZE)

In making this decision, consideration was given to a range of factors including, but not limited to, the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the safety and logistical challenges this presents:

- Australia’s borders are closed and international travel from Australia remains strictly controlled.
- International travel from Australia is only available if you are exempt or you have been granted an individual exemption by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs.
- Respective National Governments enforced quarantine measures (currently 3 day on entry to Japan).
- Australian Government’s mandatory 14 day hotel quarantine on return.
- Flight options to Australia are extremely limited. Flights and port of entry to Australia is subject to availability under increasingly reduced international arrival caps. Flight schedules / routes are changed and/or cancelled at very short notice.
- Compliance with Vaccination and Covid-19 testing requirements in respective nations prior to departure, period of stay and on return.
- Risk of delay in return to Australia.
- International competition opportunities.
- Domestic and international travel restrictions, border closures, availability, and costs.
- Short and long-term health risks.
- Availability and scope of international travel insurance (COVID related matters not covered).
- Gymnastics Australia’s duty of care towards its members and staff.

GA acknowledges that competition is taking place overseas and improvements continue to be made with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Australia, however the safety and wellbeing of our athletes is paramount and the risk of Teams not being able to return to Australia is deemed too great in this current environment.

Whilst making its decision not to send Teams to World Championships, GA may consider requests from any individual who is prepared to accept all known (and unknown) risks but who also meet the performance criteria of the amended Gymsport 2021 World Championship selection policy.

National Performance Director Andrew Logan said of the decision “we want to give our athletes every possibility to compete on the international stage and it is very disheartening that we are still in this position 18 months after the pandemic first put the world into this crisis but we must protect the mental and physical health of our athletes, coaches and support staff as a priority. We cannot risk a Team being exposed to all these risks and potentially being stuck internationally for weeks on end unable to get home.”