Sports club rebounds after tough year

By David Schout

Docklands Sports Club (DSC) has bounced back strongly after a difficult 2020 and is set to begin new junior soccer and cricket programs in February.

The club based out of Ron Barassi Snr Park re-started sports clinics and coaching in November after an eight-month hiatus due to COVID-19.

After a 2019 launch, the club had been concerned about the impact of the pandemic on the momentum it had gathered in its short period of existence.

But DSC has not only reported strong retention of families since the return, but an increase in female participation.

President Carina Parisella said that when the state government allowed community sport to return in November, the club moved quickly to re-start the programs that had been paused in March.

“We invited all of our families back and ran the rest of the term and put in place a COVID-safe plan,” Ms Parisella said.

“What was great was that we got some new families come and join us in that time … retention has been great but one of the best things we’ve seen is an increase in female participation which has been my goal all along, to bring more young women into particularly soccer.”

The club has announced that its Aldi MiniRoos (junior soccer) program will begin a new term on Sunday, February 7, while the Woolworths Cricket Blast (junior cricket) will return the next week on February 14.

Ms Parisella said the club had also engaged the services of professional coaches for primary school aged children looking to develop their skills, as oppose to younger kids being introduced to the sports.

“Before we were really run completely by volunteers, either footy or cricket enthusiasts. What we’ve done as we built our network, we’ve started to get to know other local clubs and some other professionals in the coaching space. Definitely the benefit of all this is that the community and the volunteers still put the magic together.” •

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