Campaspe News

Mental health the focus in lockdown

- By MEG SAULTRY

It's more making sure we're staying in touch with each other and sending a message, making a phone call and catching up and going ’

for a run.

— Brodie Collins, LBU coach

AS THE Victorian COVID-19 lockdown again wrecked havoc on local sporting communitie­s this past fortnight, LBU football and netball coaches have focused heavily on player mental health rather than physical fitness.

The Heathcote and District Football Netball League has yet to announce a season return date, but with regional restrictio­ns easing, training should resume this week.

As for what the fixture looks like when the season resumes, teams will head straight back into its round eight and nine games.

LBU senior football coach Brodie Collins said the season's postponeme­nt was disappoint­ing, but ‘‘is the way it is’’.

“Blokes are champing at the bit to get back out there and at least train together,” Collins said.

“We were priming ourselves for White Hills. It's one of the bigger games we'll play this year.

“But the beauty for us, is a lot of our players are local guys playing for a local team.

“We probably won't be affected by Melbourne players not being able to come up and play.

“We'll get ourselves up for White Hills but at the moment. We're focused on getting back to training and having a bit of fun.”

LBU sits second on the ladder behind White Hills after seven rounds, with many counting the Cats as a legitimate premiershi­p fancy this season.

And while the extended break isn't ideal for most club's on-field form, Collins said his focus was more on players’ mental health rather than performanc­e.

“I'm not too focused on guys keeping fitness,” Collins said.

“I reckon it's about making sure the player's well-being is good, whether they've been laid off work.

“The week can wreak a bit of havoc especially when there isn't much government assistance.

“So it's more making sure we're staying in touch with each other and sending a message, making a phone call and catching up and going for a run.

“But the boys have been putting in the hard yards and it's good to see.”

LBU A grade netball coach Jess Hardess said her group was excited to get back into netball-style trainings later this week after two weeks away from the court.

“We knew going into the season that there was going to be things we had to account for and extra procedures,” she said.

“It's really about getting back into training making sure everyone's wellbeing is okay, and really focusing on what we have all year which is connection and having fun with our netball.”

Hardess said the team relied heavily on its Facebook chat to keep connected with each other during the lockdown.

“Everyone is posting up what fitness they do and making sure they were keeping active,” she said.

“There were lots of jokes going on. That community really kept things together.”

Across the league, Colbinabbi­n will be waiting longer than most to return to the field, with the Hoppers holding the bye for round eight, while Elmore will host Heathcote when the league resumes.

 ?? Photo: Cath Grey ?? ■ LBU players are looking forward to returning to training after two weeks away from the club due to the COVID-19 restrictio­ns.
Photo: Cath Grey ■ LBU players are looking forward to returning to training after two weeks away from the club due to the COVID-19 restrictio­ns.

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