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    Wimmera Regional Sports Assembly manager David Berry.

Wait continues for sporting clarity for vaccination requirements as clubs 'champing at the bit'


Regional sporting leaders hope to gain a clearer understanding of vaccination-compliance requirements later this week as they look forward to a return to competitive competition.

Indoor as well as outdoor sporting opportunities are likely to resume in regional Victoria from midnight tomorrow for people who have had two COVID-19 vaccinations.

The easing of restrictions is part of Victoria’s roadmap out of the pandemic and on the proviso that 70 percent of Victorians aged 16 and older have received two vaccine doses.

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Wimmera Regional Sports Assembly executive officer David Berry, while delighted for the many leagues, associations, clubs, individuals and communities waiting to return to their sports, said he remained cautious about how competitions might operate under new rules.

“It’s great to finally get some good news in regard to sport, with everyone champing at the bit,” he said.

“We are obviously grateful that we will be able to open, but we need to know how the changes affect families and volunteers as well as players. 

“In particular, we must have clarification when it comes to checking for COVID-19 vaccination at venues, where responsibilities lie. 

“And just what does it all look like in providing volunteers with the ability to do their volunteer jobs? 

“These are the things we really need to know before we get too excited. 

“We expect to know more by the end of the week.

“We know competitors will need to be double vaccinated for outdoor as well as indoor sport – based on recommendations from the Department of Health – but we are yet to be told where responsibilities or liabilities will sit.

“We’re expecting updated ‘restricted activity directions’ later in the week to provide us with greater clarity.”

Mr Berry said knowing popular indoor sporting endeavours such as basketball, volleyball, squash, badminton, tenpin bowling and table tennis could soon resume was great news.

“Indoor sport has been out of action for a considerable time and Friday gives everyone something to look forward to,” he said.

“We all welcome and are looking forward to it as long as we know what we can expect.

“To Sport and Recreation Victoria’s credit, they are fully understanding of the roles and requirements of volunteers. 

“They are working on putting in place rules that are both safe and not onerous.”

Under the Victorian roadmap’s social and recreation section, in regional Victoria from 11.59pm, October 28, based on double vaccination for 70 percent of the state’s population, community sport returns indoors for the minimum number required.

Outdoor sporting groups have been able to train but not compete for the past few weeks.

“We all have our fingers crossed and are breathing sighs of relief knowing we have something concrete to look forward to,” Mr Berry said.

“But there would still be a lot of nervous volunteers out there waiting to know what their responsibilities might be.”