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Sports reboot likely in June

Hockey could return to Clareville soon. PHOTOS/FILE

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Club sports could be up and running by mid-June if the country moves to covid-19 Alert Level 2 this week as expected.

Sport New Zealand published their guidelines on Thursday of what sport would look like under Level 2.

Team practice and play can resume with strict contact tracing and with cleaning and hygiene regimens in place.

Crowds at indoor and outdoor facilities will be restricted to no more than 100.

That has resulted in a change of plan from NZ Rugby, who had guidelines that did not allow for contact training until Level 1.

Wairarapa-Bush Rugby Union chief executive officer Tony Hargood said on Friday NZ Rugby are upgrading their guidelines to bring them in line with Sport NZ criteria.

Hargood was confident that would allow for a full premier competition for the Moose Kapene Cup and the Tui Cup starting in mid-June or early July.

“The Council of Clubs still need to decide the format, but two full rounds with semifinals and a final are still feasible,” he said.

The club season will be followed by a brief representative programme, which is likely to involve the Bruce Steel Memorial Cup played between Wairarapa-Bush, Horowhenua-Kapiti, and Wanganui.

Wairarapa Hockey are also keen to get their local leagues under way as soon as possible but executive officer Kelly Govan said they wouldn’t rush any decisions.

“There are many things we have to work through with the contact tracing, health and cleaning, so we’ll get advice and help from Hockey New Zealand and other areas,” she said.

“We’ve been in contact with the clubs on how the season could work, but we haven’t decided the format and start date yet.”

With nearly all hockey in Wairarapa played at the Trust House Clareville complex, the maximum of 100 people at a gathering could prove a problem.

However, Govan said: “We understand we can have 100 at each of our two fields, and it sounds like we can have the bar and cafe open as long as we spread the tables.”

Govan said she had contacted primary schools and the likelihood is they won’t start their season until term three, after July 20.

Netball … unlikely to be played at until late July.

Netball Wairarapa are targeting the school term three for the start of their competitions.

General manager Scott Cottier said the contact tracing, whether using apps or manual recording, and a maximum of 100 people in a facility made it difficult to start earlier.

“We want parents and friends to come and watch teams play but we can’t do that with the restrictions on gatherings,” he said.

“We don’t want to rush things”, because players will suffer injuries without proper preparation, he said.

The college sides play a big part in Netball Wairarapa, with several teams spread through the top grades.

Wairarapa College and St Matthew’s are regular participants in the Premier One grade, with Waicol making last year’s final against the champion Harcourts team.

Cottier said with the colleges unable to hold trials, a start in term three would be ideal for a one-round competition involving eight teams, plus playoffs, a likely format.

Wairarapa United should get a full season of Central League.

Capital Football operations manager Blair Duncan was hopeful that a full Central League and W-League season would take place.

“It all depends on how long we can go for in September, but we are hopeful of having two full rounds.

“If we can’t the flow-on effects go right down the grades,” he said.

“A lot of work has to be done on contact tracing and health and safety, and we’re waiting on New Zealand Football to outline the official position.”

Wairarapa United have teams in the Central League, while the top Douglas Villa side play in Capital Division Five.

The Local League, made up of three divisions of six teams, is likely to consist of at least two full rounds.

Like the other codes, junior football is not expected to start until the school term three.

Sport NZ also announced an emergency funding package of $1000 for clubs and $40,000 for regional sports bodies.

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