Speedway, jumps racing or music festivals might not be everyone's cup of tea but they play significant roles in the region's social and economic fabric.
This weekend's Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic at Allansford's Premier Speedway sits alongside the May Racing Carnival as Warrnambool's two biggest sports tourism events.
Just like racing club officials did back in May, sprintcar classic organisers have had to walk a tightrope trying to balance health concerns associated with the pandemic, its guidelines, restrictions and protocols against staging an event some people live for.
The classic, of course, won't be the same as it was pre-pandemic but it will be a show that sits between what we were used to and what we will have to get used to for as long as COVID-19 and its variants remain.
Only Premier Speedway general manager David Mills and his committee know what it's like striking a balance between hosting an activity and community health concerns.
"The club's made a very big commitment to host this weekend," Mr Mills said.
"The soft and easy option would've been to say a couple of months ago 'it's going to be too hard and too expensive, the risk is phenomenal'.
"None of those things have changed. We're still facing that now but we're confident we've made that commitment to make it all work.
"The alternative is it wouldn't have happened so we ask the public for a bit of support (adhering to COVID protocols) to make it flow and work as best it can. That would be greatly appreciated."
Moyne Shire this week made the difficult decision to cancel next Wednesday's Australia Day festivities at Kirkstall and instead run an online event for award winners and citizenship ceremony.
The shire believed the risks of hosting up to 300 people indoors posed too great a risk to community health.
It worried the festivities could put pressure on South West Healthcare's already-stretched workforce and our health system if it became a "super-spreader". Warrnambool Base Hospital's COVID-19 ward, a 10-bed unit, last weekend had 12 patients.
Is that the right decision?
Has the speedway made the right decision?
At times during the pandemic Victoria's "cancel culture" was heavily criticised.
Now that our leaders say we are open for business and ploughing ahead, events that go ahead are criticised. Damned if cancelled, damned if held.
What's the solution?
Governments have already made the decision lockdowns are off the table and believe we have to start living with COVID-19.
We need to find a balance - events can run, people can attend, live, but with caution. If displaying any hint of a COVID-19 symptom, stay home, follow hygiene guidelines and be sensible.
If you are vulnerable, steer clear of mass gatherings just like speedway fan, Warrnambool's Chris Gillin, who will miss his first Classic in 23 years.
It might seem harsh but it's responsible, smart.
What other choice do we have?
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