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Level 3: The wait goes on for sports

Big gatherings such as primary schools netball at Colombo Rd could be some time away. PHOTO/FILE

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Don’t expect too much change on the sporting scene with the move to covid-19 Level 3 from Tuesday.

For most winter codes essentially the same restrictions as Level 4 apply, which means no sports team training sessions.

Wairarapa sports organisations are continuing to work towards a delayed start to their seasons, but it probably won’t be until Level 1 is reached that full participation can go ahead.

The Sport NZ guidelines allow for non-contact activity in outdoor and indoor facilities in Level 2. Public health measures such as minimal non-essential travel and conditions on gatherings, with a limit of 100 people in indoor facilities and 500 in outdoor facilities will apply.

Sport NZ is developing further advice on whether and what contact sport will be possible under Level 2.

Under Level 1, there will be no restrictions other than general public health measures.

However, there is still some confusion of what will be permitted under Levels 1 and 2.

Hockey Wairarapa executive officer Kelly Govan said they have received conflicting advice on what can happen at Level 2 and then at Level 1.

“New Zealand Hockey have sent out some guidelines and then when I look on the covid-19 website it says something else,” Govan said.

Govan said separate entrances and exits to their Clareville complex may have to be used, with restrictions on numbers in the facility. Changing rooms, bar, and cafe facilities may also have to be shut.

“With the little kids, we would have eight teams playing at the same time on quarter-sized fields, and with all the parents and supporters there, it will make it very difficult,” she said.

“And after the games, the kids would come upstairs and buy their punnet of chips and drink, so that would be taken away from their hockey experience.”

The Wairarapa-Bush Rugby Union are still targeting a late-June or early-July start for their season for senior and junior competitions.

Chief executive officer Tony Hargood said: “When we go to Level 2, we will have a good indication of when we can start.”

Hargood said he was also working on how the teams playing outside the region would be placed.

The Wairarapa College First XV play in the Wellington Secondary Schools Premier Grade and Rathkeale contest the Central North Island competition, which includes teams from as far north as South Auckland.

Wairarapa United football chairwoman Wendy Turton said they are no closer to knowing what will happen with the football season.

“Capital Football have sent out a survey to all the clubs to find out how the season could look, but otherwise it’s just wait and see,” she said.

Wairarapa United play in the men’s Central League and women’s W-League, while Capital Football control all football played in Wairarapa leagues.

Douglas Villa also have senior and junior teams who contest regional leagues, including club’s top men’s team in the Capital Division Five.

Netball Wairarapa general manager Scott Cottier said confirming a start for the season was still up in the air.

He said much would depend on how long their Colombo Rd facility was required by the Wairarapa DHB as an assessment centre for covid-19.

There could be good news for golfers though. New Zealand Golf are working with government on what Level 3 means for the sport.

The NZ Golf website states that “it is very likely that golf will be able to be played at Alert Level 3, however there will be specific restrictions and guidelines around this.”

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