JUNIOR athletes can finally come back to the running track, after months of closures and lockdowns.
The Geelong Little Athletics and Corio Little Athletics clubs commenced their 2020-21 track and field seasons under firm COVID-safe plans on the weekend.
The City-approved strategies ensure that individual events are capped at ten participants at a time, with a “reasonable distance” enforced between each group.
Unless competing, all attendees over the age of 12 must wear a facemask, while shared equipment must be sanitised before and after use. Clubrooms will remain closed under the plans.
Greater Geelong CEO Martin Cutter said ensuring activities were “COVID-safe” was crucial.
“It is great to see kids getting back into their favourite sports, having fun with friends and improving their skills,” he said.
“It is important that all activities are carried out in a safe and cautious way so that COVID-19 case numbers remain low throughout the summer.”
Visitors will not be allowed to sit in on the events, with attendance limited to athletes and their parents/guardians.
Corio Little Athletics centre secretary Kirsten Thomas said after being shut down for more than six months, Saturday could not come soon enough.
“Everyone is so excited. The kids can’t wait to get back on the track, not just to compete but also to see their friends,” she said.
“The parents are just as excited. It’s a social event for everyone, so it’ll feel like a big family reunion come Saturday.”
Ms Thomas also stressed the importance of making sure the events were COVID-safe for all involved.
“We have a ‘Get in – Compete – Get out’ approach to the events,” she said. “We also want to make sure that everyone is maintaining social distancing, wearing their masks and keeping their hands sanitised.”