UNSW Raiders gridiron
The UNSW sporting community will eagerly await further news from their competition organisers on start dates for senior competitions


While the financial implications of senior competitions not going ahead were serious for many sporting clubs, there were ramifications to consider. Community sport is primarily run by volunteers - from club commitee members to coaches and umpires, much of the labour in junior sport is taken on by senior players and it is a load that parents of junior players cannot carry alone.

Without senior competitions, the number of players who would have been prepared to spend their days volunteering in the junior competitions with no games of their own to play would likely have dwindled.

With all sporting competitions back on the table, clubs and associations around NSW are now making their preparations to return. Health measures to ensure the risk of Covid-19 transmission is as low as possible will need to be put in place and competition formats will change as winter sports scramble to squeeze a shortened season in before the summer months and summer sports take over.

Acting NSW Sports Minister Geoff Lee was pleased to announce the news on Wednesday.

"All community sports will return from July 1 and everybody can play, it's game on for the whole community, whether it's under 18 over 18 competition," he said. "We have reduced the spread of COVID-19 to the point where further restrictions can be lifted."

Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said, on the basis of health advice, crowds could not at this point gather in the stands.

“Today’s announcement is about a staged re-opening of the sports economy in a way that minimises the risk to the public. This makes a level playing field for sports stadiums, in line with the clubs and pubs re-opening to patrons,” Mr Hazzard said.

‘‘With no vaccine and no treatment for COVID-19 there is an obligation on all of us to continue to maintain physical distancing and good hand hygiene. The virus has not gone away.”

For the UNSW sporting community, the news will be a great relief, allowing many clubs and athletes to return to competition. Guidelines and news will begin to flow in from the various competitions our clubs are involved in over the next few weeks and we will continue to keep our community updated as the situation progresses.