Time to get ball rolling

Michael Summers Pic  TBW Newsgroup
FOOTY FEVER: Western Border Football League president Michael Summers says hopes are high the season will kick off. Picture: SANDRA MORELLO

THE region’s grassroots sporting fraternity remains on the sidelines awaiting COVID-19 restrictions to ease.

Regional sport has been laying dormant for weeks following the sweeping in of COVID-19 restrictions, which has seen sporting grounds dormant and thousands of competitors waiting for the season to kick off.

Western Border Football League president Michael Summers said he could not wait until the siren again sounded on footy ovals across the region.

He said the region was performing well in the suppression of COVID-19, which could see community sport reinstated.

Speaking at Blue Lake Sports Park yesterday, Mr Summers said he hoped community sport was on the agenda of today’s National Cabinet meeting.

“We need a bit of normality back – we are waiting with bated breath. Community sport is a massive part of our community,” Mr Summers said.

“We are really looking forward to it. We had a really good off-season with sponsorship. We are ready to go.

“The league is suspended until May 31 and we have to wait until then. Some players have begun training on their own so they are ready once the AFL and SANFL make that decision.”

Mr Summers said he was hopeful the season would resume, even if it started in mid July.

The league’s administrators were having regular meetings with the South Australian National Football League with everybody “in the same boat”.

“We have a 10-round draw in place, everybody will play everyone twice and hopefully we do not interfere with too much of the summer sport.”

He said Casterton remained a potential stumbling block given the border restrictions.

“If the season does not include Casterton, we will be in trouble. We need them in our league,” Mr Summers said.

A number of Casterton players also travel from Melbourne.

“That’s the only concern we have as a league and we will have to work around that if the government allows us,” Mr Summers added.

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