Havelock North-based software company Sportsground kept its developers busy during lockdown completing existing projects, plus a Covid-19 touch-free contact tracing app to help sports groups manage their new normal.

The ‘iDMe’ web app makes it easy for people to provide their contact details through a personal QR code that can be scanned so users don’t have to use a touch screen or pen and paper to comply with the Government’s requirements.

Good contact tracing is essential before team sports and physical activities can resume under Alert Level 2. Sportsground has now released its app nationwide as a free service to all sports.

Parks and sportsgrounds can re-open with the opportunity to resume active recreation and competitive sport at a local level based on strict public health and hygiene measures, including regular sanitising of hands, equipment and surfaces.

Sports codes and clubs were being urged not to rush into resuming activities without the right protocols in place, including ensuring everyone in a club or organisation was fully aware of the requirements.

Sportsground CEO Mike Purchas says the shutdown had a significant negative financial impact on his customers in sport and education. Some major sales orders were deferred or cancelled altogether.

“We normally have over a million people per week on our platform at this time of year and this has halved.”

Sportsground provides a range of tools and platforms for sports and education groups to manage their activities — for example, the platform manages the draws and results for all community rugby games played throughout New Zealand. Specialist staff supporting that software helped out in other areas during lockdown.

Sportsground managed to retain all its staff, but working 80% of their normal hours with development teams working from home on a range of projects including improving existing software.

“We have many Hawke’s Bay clients, but are primarily an exporter of online services throughout New Zealand and Australia, so we’ll emerge with even stronger technology when we get back to business.”

The company was already working on major software development projects, including a Game Day Scoring App for netball and a new database and customer relationship management system (CRM) for sport and schools called www.SuperCRM.co.nz.

Purchas remains optimistic, believing both education and sports sectors will recover relatively swiftly and that as a nation generally we have a chance to get the economy going again “in a way most other countries can only dream of”.

Our agricultural and horticultural sector produce enough to meet our needs. “We can feed our own population many times over with high quality food and good water.”

He remains concerned for the economic flow-on effect of the loss of tourism for Hawke’s Bay which was only readjusting after the loss of Jetstar flights. However he’s encouraged by talk of a tran-Tasman bubble, hopefully including the Pacific Islands.

“The pandemic has reminded us about provenance and the importance of buying local and the importance of our environment and our collective ability to impact climate change. Hawke’s Bay people are tough, pioneering, and resilient. We’ll not only survive this, we’ll emerge stronger.”

Free download of iDMe: https://id.idme.co.nz

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