Minor repreive as sporting restrictions lifted across Gippsland

Postponed: The Traralgon Harriers announced they have postponed the 2021 Traralgon Marathon to Sunday, July 11 due to the COVID-19 restrictions. file photograph

AUSTRALIA’S oldest current marathon has been forced into finding a new date with this Sunday’s 54th Traralgon event postponed a month.
The event, staged by the Traralgon Harriers Athletics Club, includes four races to cater for runners of all abilities.
It has been a long-time highlight on the calendar for Valley locals and brings people from across the country to the region.
However, in light of recent COVID-19 restrictions, organisers were forced to postpone with a long-standing contingency plan seeing Sunday, July 11 identified as the best rescheduling option.
Traralgon Harriers president Phill Mayer said running the event under the current restrictions would have been impossible.
“With the restrictions they announced there is no way that we would be able to do it, we have nearly 400 entrants and the venue would only be able to 50 and they would have to be seated,” Mayer told The Express.
“It would simply be a logistical nightmare, so postponing was really the best and only option we had.”
He also explained why they decided on July 11 as the new date.
“It basically gives us four weeks for things to settle down, restrictions to ease, and for us to run the event as a full event as opposed to having limited numbers,” he said.
“Hopefully our metro and interstate entrants will be able to come as well, so there are a lot of reasons why we have decided to give ourselves four weeks to reset.”
ELSEWHERE, there was some minor reprieves for local sport players and coaches yesterday.
As the lockdown for metropolitan Melbourne was extended by another week, those in regional areas were sparred that fate, meaning the easing of some restrictions for local sport.
Junior players and coaches rejoiced at news their activities were able to go ahead.
It was not as good news for those in senior ranks, who will have to wait a bit longer before getting out onto the field. Senior players can however return to training, in what is hopefully the first step back to playing in a week’s time.
The cancellation of two rounds of senior football, netball, soccer and various other sports has thrown all sorts of scenarios up in the air.
The Mid Gippsland Football-Netball League has already declared its Round 8 matches a no result, while the Gippsland League had provisions in place to reschedule one round to a league wide bye on July 10.
With two rounds now cancelled however, an equitable solution is still to be determined, and the Gippsland League is in a unique predicament of not being able to push its seasons back a week to avoid a clash with the AFL Grand Final.
In the eyes of most pundits teams need to play each other at least once to constitute a proper season, so there is still time for that to be achieved across all sporting leagues in Gippsland.
Amazingly, if the Gippsland League is to play its Round 9 matches as scheduled it will mean Moe and Morwell will play each other twice before playing Leongatha and Sale respectively.
The Latrobe Valley Soccer League had not made a decision on the rescheduling of senior matches by the time The Express went to print.
“Until we have further notice from our governing body Football Victoria and also had a chance to consult with our clubs we are not in a position to provide further information regarding training and playing,” the LVSL said yesterday.
“We will provide this as soon as we have reviewed all current advice and information. We will make sure we update our clubs when we have all
available information.”