More exciting news Hoppers family - AFL Riverina has advised that it is ‘planning for’ a return to competition play for JUNIOR competitions and NAB AFL Auskick on the weekend of 17 – 19 July.
This change is in line with the NSW Government’s decision to resume community sport for U18s from July 1.
While a date has been set, there is still much work to be done, including establishment of clear protocols for how this will roll out. The Club will be guided by AFL Riverina in what we do, including determining when training will commence, and we will work closely with respective team coaches and parents to plan out a return to play.
We understand that many of our juniors will be keen to jump in and get going. But we also understand that many parents will want to remain cautious until it’s clear how everything will operate. Right now, before we resume training, we know we need to wait for the next level of restrictions to be released (to increase group sizes from the current 10 per group, to 20 per group) to make our procedures workable in the circumstances. Too many groups of 10 at one time will be too difficult to manage, so we’ll wait a couple of weeks until group sizes increase and in the meantime set about communicating what we need to, to the various people involved, once things get going again.
While we wait for further instructions, we can say we also expect that a return to training will be staggered. It’s likely to commence with U15s, then progressively ‘down’ through the age structure. And we are aware that while Auskick will be part of the season once it’s underway, no training will occur prior to the first game.
So for now – sit tight, note the date, and we’ll come back to you with a clearer plan once it’s put together.
In terms of registration, the Club will confirm arrangements on registration costs once the season structure is known. The Active Kids program is still available and this will cover most costs. We’ll provide the links again when it’s time to do so.
Our senior football squad resumed restricted training last week and while the feel was different, it was great to get some of the men back together. A senior netball squad (A & A Res) starts its training tomorrow night. We have received no updates yet on changes to expanded group size training or any dates for the season to commence.
Applying the COVID training protocols has been challenging, but we’ve already noticed how the players have learnt to adapt quickly and we’re optimistic we’ll be able to roll out consistently responsible standards across the wider Club in time, seniors and juniors, based on what we’ve already learned. The attitude of the players has been fantastic, and this is really important to staying positive and doing everything we’re able to, to get our season underway.
It’s expected that additional senior players will join expanded training set ups (Ressies / U17.5’s in footy and B/C & U17s in Netball) in the coming couple of weeks.