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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Community contact sports set to kick off this weekend

Canberra’s community contact sport has been given the tick of approval to go ahead this weekend, following uncertainty around easing of restrictions after five COVID-19 cases were reported in the ACT last week.

ACT Sport and Recreation Minister Yvette Berry made the announcement yesterday, Thursday 16 July.

“I know people have been holding their breath waiting for that announcement,” she said.

“In light of what has been unfolding in Victoria and NSW, in the ACT we have had a pretty good run on COVID new cases and no new cases in the past 24 hours.  

“We are confident that full contact sport can go ahead with all of the other restrictions in place.”

The Coalition of Major Participation Sports ACT (COMPS) welcomed the news in a statement made by Chair James Allsopp.

“COMPS ACT has been working co-operatively among its members and with the ACT Government over several months in getting participants back to organised forms of sport,” the statement read.

“COMPS is understanding of the ACT Government’s constant review of the situation and the cautious approach towards any easing of restrictions but also recognises that returning to play can be an important threshold moment for community engagement.”

Community contact sport had been set to return on 18 July as part of Stage 3 in Canberra’s COVID Recovery Plan but was reassessed following positive coronavirus cases in the ACT last week.

Ms Berry said she was confident contact sport was safe to resume, providing all other COVID-safe measures were taken.

“Some of the things you do need to keep in mind are limiting equipment where you can and cleaning all equipment before and after use,” she said.

“Make sure you keep in mind the principle of turn up, train, play and then leave.”

Despite good news on the community sport front, Ms Berry said the Canberra Raiders would not yet increase their crowd numbers at GIO Stadium Canberra

“The Raiders have confirmed they will be sticking to their 1,500 numbers for their game next week,” she said.  

“There will be a further checkpoint on the 23 July from the Chief Health Officer on the possibility of future easing of restrictions moving forward.”

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