GAME ON: Lismore Swans coach Joey Mitchell said the senior teams are thrilled to be able to play their first match on July 11 as hoped. “The players are beyond thrilled,” he said of the resumption the delayed 2020 AFLQ season. Photo: Alison Paterson
GAME ON: Lismore Swans coach Joey Mitchell said the senior teams are thrilled to be able to play their first match on July 11 as hoped. “The players are beyond thrilled,” he said of the resumption the delayed 2020 AFLQ season. Photo: Alison Paterson

GAME ON: Adult, kids sports to kick off

AFTER months of lockdown, the news that sporting clubs, players, match officials and supporters – not to mention long-suffering partners – have been waiting for was finally announced on Wednesday.

To the massive relief of the Northern Rivers sporting community, the NSW Acting Minister of Sport, Geoff Lee confirmed community sport will be back across the state on July 1.

Speaking on commercial radio, Lee said over-18 sport will also return on July 1 after under-18s were earlier given the green-light on the same date.

Lismore Swans senior men’s coach Joey Mitchell said the confirmed date is “brilliant news.”

“Until this morning we were in limbo, now the players could not be happier,” he said.

“Now we feel the game’s pulse and now we are restored.”

Mitchell said the club is still figuring out all the logistics and game plans around the relaxing of COVID-19 regulations.

“But the fact we can get out there and play Byron Magpies on July 11 is fantastic,” he said.

”Regardless of how the team plays or finishes, the fact we can get out there despite all this adversity, that’s what matters.”

Lismore Basketball Association president Aaron Simpson said while the juniors were already stoked, the adult players are really thrilled about getting back on the court.

“We will hopefully have the competition up and running at the beginning of term 3 as run via school terms anyway,” he said.

“This is good news for the whole association and region.”

Maris Brothers Cricket Club president Glenn Lees said it great news.

“If not for COVID-19, we would be in our second month of a winter junior training and skills sessions,” he said.

“This is a very exciting time.”

But Football Far North Coast, general manager, Steve Mackney said it’s not simply a case of “great, we will see you on Saturday morning.”

“We need to be realistic here now the government has released the handbrake because there’s still a few hoops to jump through,” he said.

“We are in the process of writing to clubs and ask them to confirm by June 25 their intentions.

“We are starting from scratch with 650 teams and around 7,000 players.”


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