BATHURST Indoor Sports Stadium has thrown its doors open for three days a week as part of the first stage of the path towards competitions resuming for the summer season.
While competitions and group training will be able to start again from the week of November 1 there are still chances right now for those in Bathurst to keep themselves fit and ensure their skills stay sharp.
The stadium is open Monday to Wednesday from 11am to 5pm for those wishing to shoot around and use the courts.
Stadium manager Andrew James has been busy piecing together draws for the multisport, netball, indoor soccer and basketball competitions this summer.
As the COVID-19 NSW vaccine double dose numbers started to get closer to the important 70 and 80 per cent marks he was able to set the restart date that everyone had been waiting to hear.
"Once they started to announce percentages we knew we'd be looking towards the back end of November to restart our competitions. For the last three to four weeks we've been planning to open back up around now," he said.
"Originally we thought the 80 per cent mark was around the 25th but that looks like it could be brought forward a week, but we'll plan for comps to start back up at the first week of November to give us an extra buffer and give teams time to nominate.
"We're open at the moment, just for three days a week as we look to generate some turnover, but then after that we'll be getting our competitions underway.
"Until we get to the 80 per cent double dose number we can't do any competitive training or scrimmages."
The COVID-19 lockdown was a big blow to the Bathurst Indoor Sports Stadium, who according to James had seen strong numbers across all their competitions before they were forced into an early conclusion.
Nominations were first opened up to those winter competitors before new teams could throw their hat into the ring.
James said the numbers have been great.
"The seniors are often slow to get nominations going ... but they're steady. The multisport and netball nominations have been good but our junior basketball has been booming," he said.
"We've got more teams in that competition than I've ever seen since I've been here. Having a few Scots All Saints and Stannies teams has helped with that. I've had to shut nominations for our primary school comps because they're already full."
With such strong support, and a need to close nominations so early, James hopes that it will lead to greater playing opportunities in the future.
"If we can sustain these numbers over the next 12 months we can make a case with Bathurst Regional Council for an extension, because we're unable to fit in any more people through the week," he said.
"We're so busy now. Once everything ramps back there's no room for anyone to come to the courts and just shoot around from Monday through to Friday after school.
"It's great for us but unfortunately it leads to people missing out. There's room for the stadium to grow but we would have to keep these numbers up."
Following the latest round of lockdowns James said it's nice to have quelled the fear of low nominations.
"My biggest fear was that we'd have people thinking 'Nah, we won't do it, we keep getting disrupted' but the feeling I'm getting is that it's gone the other way. People really want to get out there and they want to get stuck in again," he said.
"We had momentum throughout this whole year and we had a huge winter. We were doing really well with numbers up until closure."
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