Surprise return to sport catches clubs off-guard
THE return of community sport has come sooner than anyone could have anticipated, with indoor and outdoor non-contact sport able to resume from midday today.
It was a decision which has forced many clubs and organisations to re-evaluate their COVIDSafe plans and when athletes will be able to resume training.
Warwick Gymnastics Club president Coby Walker welcomed the announcement and the ability to return to the gym, however it is one that has presented another set of challenges.
“We haven’t made a decision because it all happened so quickly,” he said.
“We were planning on coming back on June 15th and that’s likely still the plan we’ll take.”
Many clubs across the Southern Downs were working towards a June 12 start date and had used the time away to complete refurbishments to facilities.
The gymnastics club, which has already endured a fire and rain damage this year, was undertaking much needed maintenance.
“For the last seven or eight weeks, we’ve been doing a lot of maintenance and painting in the gym,” Walker said.
“And the place is still in that process because we thought we had another two weeks.
“If we can get the place cleaned up and determine what the restrictions mean to us in terms of numbers, we may look at brining (athletes) back next week.”
It will be a similar situation for members of the Southern Downs Football Academy, who are yet to determine when players can return.
“I know this has come forward, but we have a meeting planned for Saturday to work out what we have to do and how we go about it,” SDFA president Tim Gaske said.
“Even though they’ve relaxed it, but we have to have all of our protocols in place and we haven’t had a chance to do that.
“It’s good but it’s caught a lot of people off guard.”
If restorations to the gymnastics club can be completed in time, Walker said athletes could be back in the gym as soon as Monday June 8.
Given the nature of the sport and use of apparatuses, Walker said new hygiene measures will need to be put in place to meet COVIDSafe requirements.
“It’s going to be a modified training environment for the first few weeks until the threat completely dissipates,” he said.
“It’s one of those things, fortunately a lot of the equipment is stainless-steel, it’s just the high bars for the girls which are made from timber.
“Everything else should be pretty right. The coaches will just have to have the gear with them to clean it and just monitor what is touched.
“Whatever is required is what we’ll have.”