Sports club eyes spring return

By David Schout

Docklands Sports Club (DSC) has eyed a spring return for its junior soccer and cricket programs at Ron Barassi Snr Park.

The newly-formed club, which has taken off since launching less than 12 months ago, had seen strong numbers in its first programs.

But since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place by the state government, the club has had to suspend all activities.

President Carina Parisella told Docklands News the DSC committee had been meeting regularly during restrictions, and was doing all it could to ensure a safe return to action.

“Like everyone, we’re needing to be really careful about when we get back out to do some training. The restrictions have been lifted, but given we can only train in groups of 10, with young kids, obviously it’ll be very hard to have no contact,” she said.

“So, what we’ve said to parents and families is that absolutely by the time spring hits, we expect to be back out on the ground doing both our Woolies Junior Blast [cricket] and Aldi MiniRoos [soccer] programs. But over the winter, given it’s flu season and the restrictions are still touch-and-go, we’d be unlikely to go out and train before spring. But that could all change if the restrictions become more flexible.”

The COVID-19 restrictions were a cruel blow to the burgeoning club, who had just started to gather real momentum in bringing together local children and families at its home ground next to the Bolte Bridge.

But Ms Parisella assured locals they would pick up where they left off.

“[We’re] absolutely confident that we’ll keep that momentum going,” she said, pointing to the club’s combined social media following of more than 1000.

“We’ve got such a strong following online so we’ve been able to stay in touch with our community. We definitely want to keep the momentum going for physical activity but also, it’s great that the community has come together on social media to stay connected during this time. So, I’m really pleased about that and think we’ll knock it out of the park on our return.”

Since officially forming in August, the club has also been an avenue for local parents to meet when they otherwise wouldn’t have.

“We’re really missing our local families and not being able to see them each week has been tough. But as soon as we can we want to get back out there and start working with our partners again. We think spring time is a nice time to do that - the weather will be picking up again and it should be safer.”

Elsewhere, YMCA facility The Hub on Harbour Esplanade was waiting for restrictions to further ease before welcoming back community groups.

Team leader Tony Crawford told Docklands News a quiet few months had allowed them to refurbish the decking and install a new entrance at their clubhouse which contains five rooms for indoor activities and multi-purpose sports courts.

Mr Crawford said that while corporates may take some time to return to the facilities, he ex- pected community groups to come back when it was safe to do so.

One group that uses those facilities is Melbourne Netball, which runs mixed-netball competitions at both The Hub and nearby Flagstaff Gardens.

Director Rebecca Grouios said they hoped to be back playing by July, but would be guided by state government announcements.

“We have made changes in the way that we operate to ensure that our players’ safety is the number one priority including procedures for borrowing bibs, hand and ball sanitising during the night,” she said.



May 4th, 2022 - Abby Crawford
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