WOOLGOOLGA’S popular six-a-side summer soccer competition has been postponed for the time being, due to COVID-19.
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The competition has a huge following among the Northern Beaches community, attracting around 93 teams last year with players ranging in age from primary school students to adults.
Woolgoolga Social Sports Club secretary Cheryl Midavaine said the club was disappointed it had to make the decision to postpone the 2020-2021 season of the competition, which was due to kick off next month.
“It’s very disappointing, we love it and it’s just such a popular competition out here at Woolgoolga,” Cheryl said.
“People love it because of its social vibe, everyone plays and gathers happily and watches their kids, and they wouldn’t be allowed to do that this year.”
The club made the announcement to players via its Woopi Six-a-side Soccer Facebook site on 5 September.
“We had a meeting and basically we’re in a situation where we can’t really comply with the guidelines at the moment, just with the numbers that we normally get there,” Cheryl said.
Being able to maintain social distancing among the players, spectators and volunteers was the main issue which forced the club to announce the competition’s postponement.
“Because six-a-side is a very social comp, particularly with the adults, they love it because they play and then they have dinner at the canteen and then grab a drink from the bar, and they wouldn’t be allowed to do any of that,” Cheryl said.
“So we just made the decision to leave it at the moment and see what happens.”
Cheryl said policing players and spectators to ensure they were following COVID-19 measures if the competition were to go ahead would be “mission impossible”, with around 93 teams playing on a single night.
“With the COVID rules we don’t know how we would keep everybody safe,” Cheryl said.
“While the restrictions are there we’ve got to adhere to it, we don’t want to get people in trouble and we don’t want to put people’s lives at risk also.
“It’s very disappointing, but people’s safety is paramount.”
The 19-week competition usually commences in mid October and runs until March the following year.
Cheryl said the club will review its decision to put the competition on hold at the end of September.
“The club believes it can get the competition up and running within a two week period, if COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed,” Cheryl said.
“But at this point we can’t go ahead with the competition.”
By Emma DARBIN