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Waiting game for netball, hockey

Gisborne netball and hockey fraternities must still play the waiting game before they can conclude their season, but there is light at the end of the Covid tunnel.

Neither code can complete their semifinals and finals under Level 3.

“While the move to Level 3 overnight is a step in the right direction, not a lot will change for us in terms of our centre and any netball competition,” Netball Centre manager Allisa Hall said.

“Under Level 3, we are still required to keep GNC closed and have staff working from home.”

Under Level 3, public venues like pools and playgrounds are closed and organised sport or physical activity is not allowed outside bubbles.

Netball NZ has ruled that there must be no organised netball activity and that all events and competitions must be postponed, put on hold or cancelled.

“All training sessions, programmes and activities are on hold, except on an individual basis or within a designated bubble or online,” Hall said.

“Last time under Alert Level 3 some sport and recreation activities could be undertaken if certain measures were in place.

“However, we are waiting to see if this will still be the case this time around, as greater restrictions are likely.

“So, while we're not really any closer to confirming dates to consider getting our finals week back under way, we still recommend teams keep in touch and keep fit.

“One thing we can confirm about our competition is the silverware for our Premier Reserve Grade.

“This is the first year for this grade, and we are delighted to announce the grade will play for the Tina Karaitiana Cup for the Premier Reserve winner, and the Jaymee Watson Memorial Cup for Premier Reserve runner-up.”

“These were being engraved before we went into lockdown, so we can't wait to see these new cups.

“We extend a huge thank-you to both Tina and the Watson family for the donation of these awards.”

The hockey competition also remains on hold until the alert levels lower further.

“We cannot play under Level 3 so we look forward to hearing from the Government, Hockey NZ and Sport NZ as to when we are likely to go to Alert Level 2,” Poverty Bay Hockey Association operations manager Louise Teneti said.

“At this point we will still consider our idea/option to finish our senior hockey with weeknight semis and hopefully a Saturday final, or again possible midweek finals.

“We are aware of the need to finish our season as well as not make things too difficult for our members by pushing the season too far into the future,” she said.

“But heading into Term 4 is not the option we want to take.

“At the moment, Turanga Health has a drive-through vaccination clinic in the carpark of the Harry Barker Reserve.

“So if we look after each other and make informed choices that help our community to move through all this, that would be a massive, awesome start.”

midcourt tussle: Action like this from a YMP-Waikohu game could still be some way off, as Netball administrators wait for lowering of the alert levels. From left, Toni Halley (YMP), Robin Te Rito and Panache Hale (both Waikohu) and Bronya McMenamin (YMP) all have a close interest in the loose ball. File picture by Paul Rickard