Sports up in the air; Netball says no

Sunday May 03, 2020 Written by Published in Sports
Duke Burgess, 8, gets airborne, as Rarotonga Sailing Club captain Gareth Clayton teaches junior sailors how to capsize safely. Duke Burgess, 8, gets airborne, as Rarotonga Sailing Club captain Gareth Clayton teaches junior sailors how to capsize safely. OLINAD SEYER / ISLAND CAPTURE.CK 20050302

Non-contact sports like sailing and golf are up and flying again – but “limited contact” sports are torn about whether to resume.

After a meeting with club representatives, Netball Cook Islands president Mii Maui confirmed this weekend that they would cancel this season entirely.

When social distancing was lifted and competive netball allowed, Netball Cook Islands would talk to clubs about organising a competition then.

“Members and clubs strongly felt that it was important to adhere to the directive from Ministry of Health, fully understanding that there are certain restrictions and preventative measures the sport of netball would not be able to commit to.,” she said.

“The safety of our members and supporting the cause to keep Cook Islands Covid-19 free is the priority. Netball Cook Islands is therefore not seeking a limited contact sport exemption.”

Instead, she said, the sports organisation would concentrate on its other initiatives this year, to keep netball’s momentum going. 

At Rarotonga Sailing Club, Commodore Tom McDonald said they had resumed sailing classes and regattas, but with hand sanitiser, small groups and social distancing.

“The kids loved it, getting out and about,” he said. “Kids are active and need to be stimulated, so this allows them out on the water where they can be independent, away from their parents, away from some of the rules – but not away from coronavirus precautions!”

Photographer Olinad Seyer from Island Capture.ck shot images of the sailing. He said it was great to see the children learning. “They were not afraid of the water, and I was glad that our little island remains Covid-free up, not in lockdown like many countries.” 

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