Warrandyte’s community sports clubs have been the recipients of several of the first round of Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Survival Package grants.
Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region, Sonja Terpstra announced 12 grants of $1,000 have so far been approved in the Warrandyte area.
Ms Terpstra announced that successful Warrandyte electorate clubs include: Donvale Bowls Club, Donvale Football Club Inc, Park Orchards Cricket Club, Wonga Park Wizards, Warrandyte Football Club, Warrandyte Netball Club, Warrandyte Sporting Group and the East Doncaster Cricket Club.
“Warrandyte clubs are an integral part of our community and this support will help them pay the bills and make an eventual return to play that little bit easier,” she said.
Community sport has taken a substantial monetary hit during these times and under the criteria outlined in the package, leagues and associations have been able to apply for a $15,000 grant while individual clubs can apply for a $1,000 grant to offset lost revenue.
Clubs could potentially take a cut of the Governments $2.7 billion Building Works stimulus package as well, with $68 million to be set aside for infrastructure works.
These are welcome announcements as the State Government begins to wind back Coronavirus restrictions, but some local leagues are still weighing up whether to resume play.
Eastern Football Netball League clubs, such as Warrandyte, await word on the status of the 2020 season following a meeting of the league’s CEOs.
While “Grass Open space” such as unlocked spaces and parks remain open to the community for recreational sport and exercise, a return to full-blooded training is not yet permitted after no exemption was made for sides to return to team-based activity.
The league’s board will meet in the early part of June to discuss the financial viability and general safety of a return to play but in the meantime, clubs can resume sanctioned training as of June 1, albeit under several restrictions.
Training will be limited to 20 people, in line with new government guidelines, but rumours of return-to-play protocols possibly fashioned in the style of those issued by the West Australian Football Commission paint a bleak picture for the future of the season.
At the start of June, Manningham Council restrictions remain in place and the return of Warrandyte tennis remains under a cloud as the courts located in Warrandyte and South Warrandyte fall under the continued closure of pavilions and facilities.
Tennis coaching has resumed at Warrandyte’s courts and the building works on the clubrooms continue.
At this stage, there is no sign of competition resuming.
Park Orchards BMX club returned to the track on May 23 with a maximum of 10 riders in at a time and their hiatus forced the club to get creative with their training routines.
The community continued to keep in touch online with the club’s coaches recording training videos for online distribution while parents reciprocated with videos of their children training and carrying out their at-home practice.
Terri McKinnon says everyone is excited to see operations back up and running, especially the kids.
“The kids really miss seeing each other and hopefully now that we’re able to train in small numbers I think the morale will kick back up.
“Really the kids just want to be on the track having fun.”
While the greens at Donvale Bowls Club have fallen silent, the club has been busy preparing for its eventual reopening.
Following a season where four pennant sides played finals and two sides were successful in winning flags, has been busy appointing its coaches and committee for its reopening says Rob Fairweather.
“Obviously the Coronavirus that befell us and the world in general, brought everything to a halt,” he said.
“But with a partial light shining, Donvale Bowls Club is busy preparing for another productive and successful season.”
Warrandyte Netball Club returned to full training on May 21 after Netball Victoria announced that optional club training could occur at outdoor venues, initially in groups of 10.
From June 1, protocols were adopted under new return-to-training guidelines including using outdoor venues exclusively, with no more than 20 participants, as per government restrictions, and maintaining 1.5m social distancing.
At this stage, basketball is still on the bench.
In May, Basketball Victoria outlined their return to sport guidelines which includes a “reactivation level” system to help clubs determine what activities and group number caps are in place as the Coronavirus situation evolves, as well as the creation of a “Biosafety Officer” role at venues.
June 22 is scheduled to be the day indoor recreation venues open, so some sort of indoor group training at Warrandyte Basketball Club may be able to resume on that date, but at the moment, all the clubs can do is wait.