Body clashes return

Alexander ScottPilbara News
Wolves Nelson Ansey takes a mark against two Sharks opponents.
Camera IconWolves Nelson Ansey takes a mark against two Sharks opponents. Credit: Pilbara News/Pilbara News

It’s a great time to be a sports fan or a gym junkie, with full-contact sports and training to resume from Saturday.

As announced by the McGowan Government last Friday, phase three of eased restrictions will come into effect from June 6.

Under phase three, full-contact sports and training are permitted to return to action while gyms will be able to return to full operations after being limited to holding fitness classes for 20 people.

Indoor and outdoor venues with multiple, divided spaces may have up to 300 people in total, with 100 people in each area.

The news was welcomed by the Pilbara’s sporting clubs and leagues after leagues were suspended for months, with players forced to train at home or in small groups.

North Pilbara Football League president Greg Braithwaite said the restrictions meant the league should be able to get started by mid-June.

Braithwaite said the league was hoping to have crowds at local games because the clubs relied on funds raised from bars and canteens.

“If it’s only 100 people in one area, or if you can 300 people at one venue, that could be quite hard to do at some grounds,” he said.

Braithwaite said players and clubs were itching to get started. “They’ve been training for a week and a half to two weeks since the first restrictions were lifted,” he said.

“This weekend, they can start contact training, and a week or two after that, we can start the season.”

Other leagues are set to return as well, with the Karratha Netball Association hosting a modified season starting on June 15, which would run for 10 weeks before a lightning carnival grand final.

The top-two teams from the lightning carnival will face off for the COVID Cup.

Unfortunately, the easing of restrictions came too late for the Port Hedland Netball Association, which decided to cancel the season. The PHNA committee took to Facebook to announce the news.

“With too many uncertainties in the current COVID-19 environment, we hope you understand that this is the right decision for our membership,” the post said.

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