Sport on hold – again

The GDCA pulled the pin on matches on Thursday. (Shawn Smits) 203257_22

Tara Murray

Sporting competitions come to a screeching halt at the weekend, with Victorians going back into stage 4 lockdown.

All weekend matches for both juniors and seniors were called off, and training cancelled until Thursday at the earliest, following the state government’s announcement on Friday that the whole state would go back into stage 4 lockdown.

It means outside exercise is limited to two hours a day per person within five kilometres of your house and with a maximum of two people or members of your house. Gyms and sporting facilities are closed, along with sporting clubs.

Among the competitions affected are the NAB League Girls football competition, a number of cricket competitions, Bowls Victoria pennant, Baseball Victoria competitions and the Country Basketball and Victorian Junior Basketball League competitions, as well as local domestic competitions for a number of sports.

Some cricket competitions had finals scheduled for this weekend.

Many competitions had started seasons later than usual, due to last year’s lockdown and were running restricted seasons. All of last year’s winter sports seasons were completely cancelled in Melbourne due to lockdowns.

The Gisborne and District Cricket Association pulled the pin on all matches on Thursday, a day before the premier’s announcement, in response to several locations in Sunbury identified as high risk locations, including the Sunbury Shopping Centre.

The competition has junior and senior teams across Sunbury, the Macedon Ranges, Melton and Moorabool.

GDCA president Rob McIntyre said cancelling one round of cricket was better than cancelling a whole season.

“This is not just a Sunbury COVID issue. Many people from Kyneton, Woodend, Gisborne, Riddell, Romsey and the wider area work, shop or go to school in Sunbury,” he said.

“We don’t know how many of these people have visited the exposure sites and we certainly don’t know how many have been tested and have self-isolated waiting for their results.

“The potential is there to shut the whole area down for weeks again should the virus spread into these communities.

“We are not prepared to put the health and safety of our cricket participants and members of the wider community at risk.”

McIntyre said they would review health authorities advice following the weekend and then consider if matches can resume the following weekend.

Several other sporting clubs within Sunbury also cancelled training last week.

The East Sunbury Sporting Club cancelled training for both their football and cricket programs and the Sunbury Kangaroos and Sunbury Lions cancelled training for their men’s and women’s football teams and netball teams.

Rupertswood cancelled training for all teams until further notice.

Sunbury United soccer club also cancelled training until they had a further idea of the situation.

Sunbury Basketball Association continued its competitions, but changes to condition of entry, with a change to spectator numbers expected for weekend matches.