South Services Tsunami take on Westlawn Tigers in the North Coast Football CL 12s at Rushforth Park on Saturday, July 11, 2020. Photo: Mitchell Keenan
South Services Tsunami take on Westlawn Tigers in the North Coast Football CL 12s at Rushforth Park on Saturday, July 11, 2020. Photo: Mitchell Keenan

BEHIND THE DESK: Should community sport be cancelled?

COVID-19, we’re all sick of it by now.

But with Victorian cases slowly creeping over the border into NSW, it could only be a matter of time before we must reel it back in and tighten social distancing restrictions.

After a long fight to get community sport back on our fields in the Clarence Valley, there is every possibility it could be a luxury we can no longer afford.

A number of events and competitions have been forced into cancellation or gone ahead with minimal spectator numbers.

The Group 2 Rugby League senior competition was a massive casualty for sport in the region, and this year’s July Racing Carnival was very different. So what’s next?

Competitions across NSW have been instructed to reduce spectators to one parent or guardian at games when possible.

Action from the under-12 clash between South Grafton Rebels and Clarence Coast Magpies during round 1 of the 2020 Group 1 Junior Rugby League season at McKittrick Park on Saturday, July 18.
Action from the under-12 clash between South Grafton Rebels and Clarence Coast Magpies during round 1 of the 2020 Group 1 Junior Rugby League season at McKittrick Park on Saturday, July 18.

Players and other club members are required to sign in on arrival, much like cafes and pubs. This has been effective so far, but if we start seeing more cases in our area things could return to the way they were at the height of the pandemic.

The Clarence has had to deal with some terrible things over the past, most recently the bushfires and the pandemic, and there is a great deal in how that’s been managed locally.

While we may feel like we’re safe away from Victoria and Sydney, the reintroduction of cases in Queensland over the past few days is a sign that we aren’t in the clear just yet.

I commend all of those volunteers and members who have bent over backwards getting sport back on our fields, but we must not take it for granted.

For the sake of sport, as well as everything else we enjoy, we must proceed with caution. Follow the guidelines and restrictions and we will be able to continue.

There is nothing more I want to see than those kids out there enjoying what they love again. But if it comes to it, we must make the right decision.

For now, let’s enjoy it and do everything we can to keep the good times coming.



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