Sporting clubs throughout the Macleay will be rejoicing after Kempsey Shire Council announced they have commenced the process of re-opening bookings for organised training for team sports on council-owned sport fields.
Due to a lack of traffic, the council fields are said to be in excellent condition and are ready for the return of action once clubs nominate their training start dates with council working with sports organisations to ensure a safe and efficient resumption of activities.
Kempsey Shire Council Director of Operations & Planning, Robert Fish, was delighted to announce the decision.
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"We are thrilled to be able to facilitate the recommencement of clubs training on our sports fields," Fish said.
"All sports have been hit very hard by coronavirus and we are working with all the sports organisations to ensure a safe and fair return to training and ultimately competition.
"No one wants this to become a 'first come, first serve' rush, its important that we strive for safety here in all our plans for resuming normal service."
The council has set out a structured process that will allow clubs and users to make field bookings, with use of these fields only allowed as part of an approved booking.
Council also stressed that approvals made prior to the coronavirus closures are no longer current with applications that were made before closure now being reprocessed with those groups to be contacted.
A 29 May deadline has been set for any new applications or for those who wish to alter their previous training arrangements.
In relation to a return to play and bookings for competitions, KSC has stated that they will not be considered at this point in time as they await guidance from state level regarding the complications arising from different start dates and seasonal crossovers.
Sporting organisations throughout the Macleay are only allowed to make these training ground applications if their governing body has made a declaration that this training is now permitted post coronavirus restrictions with all activities complying by the strict laws set out in the NSW Health public order.
Documentation from governing bodies will need to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
KSC also stated they will be applying these laws to the point that complaints against clubs who don't adhere to the public health orders will be referred to Police, and Council may be required to close facilities on police instructions.
Sporting organisers are invited to contact Council's Customer Service on 6566 3200 for more information or any queries.