Great news on Wednesday as restrictions for indoor sport were relaxed. We’ve kept in correspondence almost daily with Coaches and Team Manager’s across Domestic and Junior Championship as to the plans, the rescheduling of training and programs and what we thought lay ahead. I’d like to thank our Coaches and Team Managers so very much, as they’ve made the limitation of 50 per venue which we thought was unachievable; achievable! With their help, we were able to supply every player across every team the opportunity to be on the court, under the tight restrictions; the tightest we’d seen of any return from lockdown. We’d pre-empted the move to 50 per court and 300 per venue which was announced yesterday and as a result, it means Eltham and the EDJBA has ready to go for this weekend.
We’re pleased that we’re seeing the same rules for VJBL (Friday’s) be implemented in the EDJBA (Saturday), as it allows for consistency of messaging, something that has been difficult on past returns. This weekend there is a strict limit of one spectator per player to ensure that all games stay well below the 50 per court limit. For Eltham venues, it allows a small buffer for the exceptions to that rule that are needed, such as a parent with a 3yo child. It is easy to ask “can I do this…” but I’d ask you to please do your best to stick to the one spectator rule for this weekend, as for the most part at Eltham venues our venue staff are young people that have grown up in our club. They want to let everyone in, but are instructed to enforce the rules, so I rely on our people to please be as sensible as possible this week. When playing at away venues, I can’t guarantee that they’ll have the same flexibility, so ask again that you respect what is enforced elsewhere.
We’re all just trying to adhere to the rules so that indoor sport which is treated very differently to outdoor sport, can continue to ease restrictions and return to somewhat normal. We’re aiming to provide some limited opportunity for teams to access some training space during the holidays which I will do through Coaches and Team Managers when we have it finalised.
In the past we’ve always had our cleaners operate overnight at Eltham and Montmorency. With the works going on, for our new three court stadium, the school kids are bringing significant amounts of dirt onto the courts. We understand the facility has been incredibly slippery. We’re adjusting our cleaning schedule so that the cleaners will come in, in the afternoon straight after school and do their proper clean of the courts. This will mean that the floorboards are in supreme condition for our use for training and games. We’ll see an additional clean take place on Friday night/Saturday morning, to ensure that it is again in good condition for our Saturday domestic games. Thank you to those who’ve raised the concern, those who were there last night should have seen a considerable difference which will continue through until the end of Term 3 at least at which point we’ll evaluate things. It does mean we will need to shift a couple of very early training sessions at Montmorency to ensure the cleaners have time to complete the task and have the floorboards dry for use.
The new stadium is on time and scheduled for a finish in March 2022. The works are now out of the ground and you should see significant progress take place.
Our national league men and women are at home against Albury on Saturday night. We’re unsure of the crowd situation at the moment, but either way the women’s (6pm) and men’s (8pm) games can be watched live and free via nbl.com.au, but we’ll also make the link accessible via our Facebook and website. The coverage has commentary, stats graphics etc and is a great chance to watch our Eltham Wildcats at the elite level. Our Big V teams which are our state league U23’s are playing at home on Sunday. Again, we don’t know the crowd allowance yet, but we’ll make you aware as soon as we know.
Best of luck to all teams this weekend
Eltham Wildcats Basketball
Chief Executive Officer