NSWRL announcement dependent on further advice from state government

NOT BACK YET: Alex Bonham and Dubbo CYMS met Wyong in February but there has been very little rugby league since. Photo: AMY McINTYRE
NOT BACK YET: Alex Bonham and Dubbo CYMS met Wyong in February but there has been very little rugby league since. Photo: AMY McINTYRE

The comment of representatives from virtually every winter sporting organisation has been the same in recent times - we're just waiting.

The major winter sports - rugby league, rugby union, netball, football, and Australian Rules - are aiming to restart competition in July and number of competitions in the Dubbo region and all over the state have restart dates set.

But it will all come down to updates and advice from the state government and NSW Office of Sport.

The NSW Rugby League (NSWRL) plans to give an update in relation to community competitions on June 1 but the organisation's chief executive officer David Trodden said further information will be needed for that to happen.

"The NSWRL is keen to provide all of its participants with an opportunity to play and train in a safe environment for the 2020 season," he said.

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"As such, we are working closely with the NSW Office of Sport to determine the correct information and process in which to provide that environment.

"The Office of Sport has received applications from a number of winter sports for permission to resume training and approval of Return to Play protocols. The NSWRL is one of those sports and, like all others, is currently waiting for government approval before communicating the process for a return to training and playing.

"As previously communicated, we are working on a plan to re-start rugby league competitions in July and hope to be able to provide an update by 1 June.

"It is important that the information we provide to our participants is up to date, accurate, in line with current guidelines provided by the AIS and, most importantly, has the government's support that it is safe to return."

NSW Rugby Union, NSW Football, and AFL NSW/ACT all provided guidelines for a return to training earlier this week.

The Office of Sport is believed to be close to providing more information in relation to community sport but the lack of information in recent times has caused frustration in some parts.

Labor Shadow Minister for Sport Lynda Voltz hit out at the state government earlier in the week while the Australian Sports Foundation has announced it is launching a campaign to determine the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on community sport and the challenges community clubs face moving forward.

"Winter sports are getting to a critical time where decisions need to be made about the viability of their seasons and they're getting little to no support," Volz said.

"Community sports across the state have been crying out for some clarity and direction, but have been left wanting by [Minister for Sport] Geoff Lee and the NSW Office of Sport."

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