Seagulls happy return to sport, but without their flock in attendance
LOCAL sports returned to action over the weekend in the wake of the state’s recent lockdown, but things were not quite as normal due to the many restrictions in play for Victoria’s return to sport.
Footy, netball and other sports took a step in the right direction over the weekend when players got to put their uniforms on and run onto their respective grounds.
The obvious difference for players though, was the absence of spectators in attendance.
One of the clubs to experience this was the Barwon Heads Football Club as they allowed only a small number of administrative staff to help run game day operations.
Club president Tim Goddard said all sides from Under 9s to Seniors played over the weekend in both the football and netball.
But with no fans cheering the sides on, it was uncomfortable from his perspective.
“It was really strange,” Goddard said.
“There were about five people upstairs in the rooms and you could look out upon where people once stood, it was weird and strange, and it wasn’t good for a local footy club.
“You can get the four points, but footy is far more than that. It’s far more than the players, it’s about community going to watch and cheer and have fun.”
The fact that players could at least return to play was a lovely sight, according to the club president.
It had been two weeks since the teams had competed, and the Seagulls were raring to go at the start of the weekend.
“100 per cent we were happy to have a kick,” Goddard said.
“In the juniors we had parents and carers come along so at least there was a little bit of a crowd there if you like.
“But once the seniors started playing, you could hear everything, see all the empty spaces which almost made it like an echo chamber, but it was good to get back with the finals looming.”
The club is excited to eventually welcome back crowds, whether it be to just cheer on their team, watch the kids kick the footy at half-time or enjoy a hot pie, he said.
“That’s what footy is about,” Goddard said.