Warwick footy plans to return with a bang
A SURPRISE easing of restrictions has come just in time for Warwick's footy fans, with season restarts now only days away.
From midday tomorrow, players across codes will be able to return to full-contact training, and by kick-off spectators will be able to sit field-side and get behind their home team.
The Warwick Redbacks may be playing half their usual season and still waiting on a draw, but club president Vince White said the team couldn't wait to take the field on July 11.
"We'd love to see as many people down there as we can - the boys love to put on a show, so always perform better when there's a crowd," he said.
"It'll probably have to be from their cars for the first few rounds at least, but just a roar or the toot of a horn would be enough.
"We'll be sporting a new guernsey and team polo with our new major sponsors on them too, so it will be exciting to get feedback on those as well."
Even with space restrictions keeping the club's bar, canteen, and community events on hold, White said the men's side was grateful just to be out on the field.
"Still a massive loss for us and very limited home games, but it's still a season - footy is footy, and even just playing one game would be enough," he said.
"If kids who missed out on juniors want to help out and volunteer, we need water runners, or message runners - we're always looking for extra support.
"We'd love to do another trivia night or bingo night, or get the funding to do another ball, but that will all depend on restrictions, unfortunately."
Warwick's rugby union sides were equally ready and raring to kickstart their season again, with the community aspect remaining the most important for Water Rats secretary Tess Enchelmaier.
"We're a small but very passionate club, and we're hoping while there's not too many other sports on to be able to get some new faces involved," Enchelmaier said.
"We've put so much effort into our social media, and we're expecting a few more people who may have been interested or involved years ago to re-engage with the sport.
"We're even hopeful of being able to build off our big marquee event from last year, where our Ladies Day raised $7500 for charity."
Enchelmaier added the club would be scheduling extra full-contact training sessions and rallying the club's players and volunteers alike in the lead-up to their July 18 restart.
Most of all, the eased restrictions will enable Warwick's footy fans, regardless of age or their favourite code, to focus on the game.
"It's so good for us. It just takes the pressure off and we don't have to worry so much about the rule-following, we can just play rugby," Enchelmaier said.
"It's been quite taxing, having to make sure we were always following the rules and setting all of those big COVID plans in place.
"It will be good to just get back to normal and get on with the game."