Many challenges facing community sport return
SIDELINED since the start of the pandemic, players and officials from community sporting clubs are still waiting to find out when play can resume.
The soccer season got a red card before the first whistle could blow in April but Auburn Football Club president Seb Tas says that while everyone wants to start playing again, there is a lot to work through regarding social distancing and contact restrictions.
“What does it mean if you can’t share balls, if players are sweating, if you can’t tackle? It’s impossible to see how it could work at this stage,” he said.
“Also, if the season does start, it will be in the dead of winter and parents may be reluctant to bring their kids out then.
“For me, I would have the kids out there yesterday but the question is how do you do that safely? Without a vaccine, how can it be 100 per cent safe?”
Guildford Owls Junior Rugby League president Charlie Ibrahim agrees big changes will be needed to keep those on and off the field safe.
He says it will mean having to record details to help with contact tracing, keeping change rooms closed, not sharing water bottles and using plenty of hand sanitiser.
“There will be a lot of precautions, everything is going to change,” he said.
However he is also worried about the impact the loss of sport is having.
“You never know what is happening at school or at home. For some kids, going to training is their happy place,” he said.
“Having the NRL back is a big first step. It gives us a lot of hope for rugby league in general.
“Everything is a bit uncertain at the moment but I am optimistic going forward. There is definitely a lot to consider.”