Following the NSW government's COVID-19 update on July 1, the Goulburn and District Netball Association was pleased to be able to confirm that its 2020 season will get underway on July 20.
The state government announced that "junior and senior community sporting competitions, training and contact activities can resume from Wednesday 1 July," provided they follow certain health guidelines.
Following the announcement, GDNA vice-president, Karen Campbell, said there is now a buzz among the players and coaches.
"They're definitely keen to get back out there, training's started up for a lot of the players," Campbell said. "They were obviously keen and looking forward to the season."
The season will begin on July 20 for seniors and July 25 for juniors and the NetSetGo players, and will almost equal the length of a regular season.
Grand finals are set for November 23 (seniors), November 28 (juniors), and October 31 (NetSetGo).
Campbell is relieved that the association has been able to give its players so much netball following the long layoff, but reminded spectators that attendance will need to be minimised according to government regulation.
"The hardest part is to encourage fewer spectators, especially with the juniors where the parents want to be involved," Campbell said.
"Limiting attendance is what we have to do to make sure we can still enjoy our sport."
She added that the GDNA will also have disinfectant stations located around playing areas, will clean all balls and equipment between games, and will try to ensure spectators and players all travel in the same direction when entering and leaving.
Though these measures are extensive, Campbell said netball is luckier than many team sports.
"Compared to a lot of sports our teams are a little bit smaller, so it's not as much of an issue for us," she said.
"All being outside and having such a big space to work with does help with social distancing."
The biggest challenge will be how the players to adjust to the hotter weather, and fit netball in with potential overlapping summer sports.
"We're playing through the hotter months, so it will be a big difference for the players," she said.
"We're extending into the season where they might play other sports as well."
The GDNA is also continuing its preparations for representative netball, with continuing advice from the state government.
"As far as we're aware, junior and senior state titles will go ahead," Campbell said.
"Netball NSW are working with the state government to meet all the requirements there, and our rep sides are training and fundraising."
For further details please visit the GDNA Facebook page, or visit its website at www.goulburnna.nsw.netball.com.au.
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