Getting adults back into their favourite sport is a win-win for everyone, says Jamie Summers.
The Lakers Basketball Club president and senior basketball social competition player, believes the restart has the potential for widespread benefits.
Mr Summers’ comments come after the announcement on June 10 that the NSW Government was lifting more COVID-19 restrictions, allowing adult community sport to recommence, together with 18 years and under, on 1 July 2020.
“This is great news not just for basketball but for all sports,” Mr Summers said.
“A lot of clubs were on the brink of going broke.
“Having juniors is great for a club but it doesn’t make money. The money is made out of the adults.”
Finances aside Mr Summers believes returning to activity was necessary for adults.
“It’s really important for mental health as well as physical health,” he said.
“I’m sure there are some people keen to just get out of the house and have a break from the family they’ve been cooped up with for months.”
Returning to his favourite sport did however come with a new set of challenges, Mr Summers said.
“Numbers in the stadium must be kept under 100, everyone must have left before the next game can start, there’ll be a separate entry and exit, an extra 15 minutes between games, hand sanitiser will be available, and the ball must be cleaned after every game.
“At this stage there’ll be no spectators at adult competition either,” he said.
Under the new restrictions, food and drink premises in stadiums will be able to open. They will need to follow the same requirements that apply in other food and drink premises and pubs and registered clubs.
Stadium operators will be required to develop and comply with a COVID-19 Safety Plan, operate with restricted numbers and keep contact details of each person entering the premises.
Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee thanked the community for their patience during the pause on local sports and welcomed its return on 1 July 2020.
“We have reduced the spread of COVID-19 to the point where further restrictions can be lifted. It is only because communities have followed the strict social distancing guidelines that this announcement is possible,” Mr Lee said.
Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said on the basis of health advice, crowds could not at this point gather in the stands.
‘‘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,” Mr Hazzard said.