WHILE future lockdown fears could be a reality in coming weeks, right now, Ballarat's indoor sporting centres are making the most of being able to return to play.
With the cancellation of all Australian football codes during winter, indoors sports such as basketball and netball are seeing a large participation numbers of people wanting to stay fit.
The Ballarat Basketball Association plans to get its junior grades back underway on July 13 with seniors to follow on July 20..
Chief executive officer Peter Eddy said registrations have only this week closed and there are 358 juniors and 150 seniors ready to take the court later this month.
While netball numbers, many from football netball leagues who are unable to play have dramatically increased also.
"Netball has been very active in looking for an outlet," Mr Eddy said.
"And with basketball, we've got over 500 in total which is far more than we expected. The critical thing is how to accommodate those teams."
Mr Eddy said changes to cleaning regimes meant that matches will now be held in 70 minutes windows, rather than the usual 50 minutes, meaning of an evening there will be five matches on court, as opposed to six.
"When you add that up over 12 courts, it makes a significant difference," he said. "Our staff will be working longer and there's increased cleaning costs as well.
"Over a full 40 week year, our cleaning and staff costs have gone up $60,000 which is a significant impost on us but will will carrying that through. We've made a commitment to adsorb that extra cost and not pass it onto our players.
"Of course there are a few complications as we're still trying to migrate to a cashless payment system which is a lot harder when kids just usually pay game fee each week.
"We are really grateful we haven't had a significant drop off. We're moving ahead cautiously and we'll assess what the Premier says, have a much better idea how to proceed from here. Right now, we are deep into schedules and planning."
The Ballarat Ten Pin Bowling Association is another that is getting things rolling again.
The bowling lanes in Soldiers Hill have been steady during the school holiday period, with no more than 40 people allowed on the lanes at any one time.
Manager Marie Munro said while leagues would not normally bowl in school holidays, it was hoped that many will be able to return to normal in the next couple of weeks.
"We're only allowed 40 in the centre at any one time, our hope though is that our junior leagues will be able to come back next week," she said.
"It's frustrating in a way knowing that we can open, but can only have eight lanes going at a time.
"We expect our Monday night league to return and get some day leagues going as well.
'We're always looking for new numbers and at this stage we're happy to take enquiries and as soon as we can do anything we will let people know."
Ms Munro said it was incredibly important that.people returned to activities.
"People like people and being around others. We like to be able to be together and do things.
"What's great is we've had some of our kids will ask their friends to come in and have a game over the school holidays. It's great to see people get out and do some exercise.
Mr Eddy agreed with Ms Munro said he was looking forward to people returning to what they loved.
"Sport is more than a game of basketball or footy," he said. "It's recreation, fitness, mental health, social connection with your friends.
"It's more important now than ever to provide things to our young people, keep them connected with mates socially.
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