LIKE many people The Standard's journalists are adapting to a period with minimal regional sport amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Brian Allen, Justine McCullagh-Beasy and Sean Hardeman are eager to talk sport via The Commentary Box.
BRIAN: This week has allowed us to imagine what the summer of sport will bring in the south-west. Outdoor contact and non-contact sport is allowed for those 18 years and under with coronavirus restrictions eased for regional Victoria on Thursday. And adults can participate in outdoor non-contact sport. Gathering and density limits apply across all ages. We've got clarity on when some cricket leagues will commence so expect to see catching practice on south-west ovals in coming weeks. I've got a spring in my step about the whole thing. How are you two feeling with some restrictions eased?
SEAN: It's a promising step in the right direction and I'm not feeling the energy just yet, which will come when I get out a little more and get among the sun watching sport this summer. Sport returning is good for everyone in the region as it's safe to say we are all addicted to one of the many sports that take place in the region. I'm confident we will see a surge in people playing sport after months of restrictions.
BRIAN: Expecting big numbers then, Sean. I'm sure clubs would be thrilled to see new faces as well as the return of their faithful members. Yes, it might take a while for some people to get stuck into it again after a long break. But in saying that, I've seen many people walking, riding or running this year in the south-west. I suspect more people have been active this year than ever with exercise among the only things we could do during lockdowns. There's the joke about people losing fitness during COVID but I think there are loads of people who have built up or maintained a strong fitness base.
JUSTINE: Step three is a welcome step for summer sports in the south-west. I see the newly-merged Allansford-Panmure Cricket Club has already started training. It's fantastic a club trying to mesh two groups of people together can get in the nets and start to build that bond.
SEAN: Not wasting a minute over there at Ubergang! It's good to see the commitment already. Who do you think takes the chocolates in this year's competitions?
JUSTINE: Tough question! I think Pomborneit, given it retained its two imports, is a chance to make it a three-peat in the South West competition and Brierly Christ-Church and Russells Creek will be contenders again in the Warrnambool and District association.
BRIAN: There's room for a team to step up in the Grassmere Cricket Association with Panmure having merged. I suspect Hawkesdale, Grassmere and Yambuk will be strong again. Watch out for Mailors Flat. Could be a real threat if they find some consistency. Noorat is my smokey for SWC and I'll say Allansford-Panmure to have the dream debut summer in WDCA.
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