“WE’RE excited for Vic to come out of lockdown, we’re excited to play sport, we’re excited to reconnect!”
That was the message beamed onto Maccabi Victoria’s Facebook page this week, when a major easing of COVID-19-related restrictions – announced by the state government – came into force, including the immediate return of all outdoor sport training and competitions for people aged under 18, and non-contact sport for adults, subject to limitations on group sizes.
And if all goes well, a further easing of restrictions from November 8 will see the return of outdoor contact sports for adults, plus non-contact indoor-based sports for juniors.
Indoor pools would also open from November 8 for a maximum of 20 swimmers at a time.
Sport associations in Victoria, and Maccabi Victoria’s suite of sports clubs, are now acting quickly to put into place a scheduled return to the courts and fields, initially for training and then competition.
We’re excited for VIC to come out of lockdown. We’re excited to play sport!We’re excited to re-connect!We're excited…
No competition sport has been possible in Melbourne since March, and although training resumed for a few weeks in June, a stage four lockdown was then enforced, only days before AJAX footy club’s junior players were set to start their 2020 season.
While many details are still to be worked out about the return to sport in the coming weeks, already Maccabi clubs including athletics and cricket will resume training within the next few days, and the senior cricketers are still preparing to start their 2020/21 Mercantile Cricket Association season on November 15.
Maccabi-AJAX Junior Cricket club recently opened player registrations, and there has been a huge response already, with scores of boys and girls signing up, and teams already reaching capacity for when the season can commence.
Maccabi Tennis Club is back in operation, and Maccabi Victoria Basketball Club is preparing a series of outdoor training sessions for November and December.
Maccabi Victoria president Brian Swersky said, “Our clubs have begun preparing for the 2021 sporting year with enthusiasm and optimism, and the health and safety of our members remains our first priority.”
He added, the Maccabi Victoria Sports Foundation’s Hardship Relief Fund is still available to apply for financial assistance that could help ease the cost burden for player registrations. To apply, visit maccabirelieffund.com.au.
Meanwhile, there will be a major shift of format for the 2021 Maccabi Junior Carnival.
Melbourne was due to be the host city for the usually week-long event in the second half of January, with hundreds of participants aged 12 to 15 coming from NSW, QLD and WA, but that is no longer a viable plan due to remaining uncertainty over the status of state borders and domestic flight availability.
So, Maccabi Australia has announced that the 39th Maccabi Junior Carnival will instead be themed “Carnival@Home” and be hosted separately in the capital city of each participating Maccabi state.
The event will feature a range of sports and activities to be enjoyed in a COVID-safe way, plus social activities that participants in all of the four states can take part in together virtually.
The Melbourne chapter of the carnival is scheduled for January 18-21, to be hosted by Maccabi Victoria and Bialik College.
For more information, visit maccabiupdates.com/info-junior-carnival-vic.