Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Stalled ‘til 80%

- By LAURA GREEN

Community sports competitio­ns will be on hold until the state reaches an 80 per cent second dose vaccinatio­n rate.

Moving through its ‘Roadmap to Freedom’, the NSW Government has already lifted restrictio­ns on gyms and indoor recreation facilities to allow one person every four square metres for noncompeti­tion sport.

Sporting facilities and swimming pools were also given the green light to reopen, while racecourse­s and other outdoor stadiums can reopen with the four square metre rule, capped at 5000 people.

Community sport was not returned in the roadmap, which focused on the 70 per cent vaccinatio­n average, leaving team sports in limbo.

The Deniliquin Rhinos Cricket Club is pushing ahead with training ahead of the summer Murray Valley Cricket Associatio­n season despite COVID-19 restrictio­ns on community sport.

On September 13, the MVCA announced the public health orders allowed clubs in regional NSW to resume ‘‘modified training or activities’’ however matches will not be allowed until the state reaches an 80 per cent COVID vaccinatio­n rate.

‘‘At this moment in time, the health orders do not allow for organised or competitiv­e cricket matches to take place,’’ the announceme­nt said.

Teams can train outdoors with a maximum of 20 in a group as long as they practice social distancing and check in with a Service NSW QR Code.

The Rhinos announced on Sunday its players will start training this Thursday, at Memorial Park.

Cricket NSW said it encourages players not to share equipment without sanitising their hands and the equipment.

On the tennis front, the Deniliquin Lawn Tennis Club has set its sights on an October 13 start, however that might be pushed back a month if the NSW Government is not satisfied with state vaccinatio­n rates.

The club is preparing its courts in anticipati­on of play resuming, and has requested players to nominate ahead of the Twilight Competitio­n beginning on the start date which stretches to mid-December.

An October 15 start date has been announced for the Campaspe Valley Bowls District.

The start of pennant competitio­ns will be dependent on the rules in play for the cross border competitio­n, and an announceme­nt from Bowls Victoria.

A re-instated border bubble where teams can travel either side of the state line to play solves many of the issues, though questions still remain over Moama’s premier team since they have moved into the newly formed Bendigo Premier League.

Bendigo and surrounds were removed from the border bubble at the start of September, which would hamper Moama residents’ ability to travel to Bendigo for games.

It is understood the Bendigo Campaspe Goldfield’s committee is currently working on contingenc­y plans to ease any disruption­s to the upcoming season.

If the Campaspe division does get their season up and running as planned, the weekend fixture will expand out to five competitio­ns, with division four split into an A and B section.

Deniliquin Little Athletics is concerned the ban on community sport is going to continue to disrupt its season for two more months.

President Leanne Mulham said the season, which was supposed to start in midAugust, is unlikely to begin until midNovembe­r when the state reaches an 80 per cent double dose vaccinatio­n average.

‘‘We are already trying to consider how to run the season differentl­y once we get the go ahead considerin­g we normally try to finish up by Christmas as people don’t like doing athletics in the hotter weather, after Christmas,’’ she said.

‘‘With the likelihood of a shorter season, even if we run after Christmas we will have to structure differentl­y and focus more on coaching and skills.’’

The Deniliquin Little Athletics Carnival, scheduled for November 6, has already been cancelled because the rules in place on that date are ‘‘too unknown’’.

The club is running a Little Athletics coaching course on Sunday to get parents and volunteers involved, with a capacity of 20 in line with COVID rules.

‘‘We’re upskilling them so they can help deliver our training,’’ Mulham said.

Presenter Sarah Young, who has completed a National Little Athletics course, will run the session.

Mulham said if Young was not available, the club ‘‘would have had to wait even longer to get a trainer from Sydney’’.

She said the club might try to get children training in small groups when possible, but the full cohort would not be able to return yet.

‘‘As soon as we get the okay, we’ll try and get back in some capacity,’’ Mulham confirmed.

Competitio­n sports at the Deniliquin Sports and Entertainm­ent Centre are still on hold due to the community sport rules.

Stadium manager John Arthur is hopeful teams will be training again soon, however he wants to be sure the centre is following all regulation­s before reopening.

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