WE NEED to create some good hustle. Now.
The state government has its roadmap to a COVID-normal and while it remains constricted for what is permissible on a sporting front, this should not limit thinking.
We need solid, flexible game plans.
What happens out in the sporting arena exemplifies seizing opportunity, being prepared and adjusting. But it is also about setting goals and aiming high.
Basketball Ballarat is setting the lead in offering hope right now in a community sporting context.
Our new $24 million stadium barely re-opened the doors to junior before having to pack up again amid pandemic lockdowns.
Basketball Ballarat negotiated a chance to host the national under-18 championships and simultaneous junior wheelchair basketball tournament in 2022 - a right we twice lost this year.
The team is also looking closely at what its new purpose-built three-on-three courts, to be delivered next year, might mean in a post-COVID world. Whatever our new normal might be.
Sport, including contact sport and indoor sport, looks set to resume under the government's last step - November 23 at the earliest. This will be with restrictions, particularly for spectators.
While we have basic guidelines, it is hard to read how this will impact what unfolds sport-wise next year.
In our recovery, there is nothing really holding us back in already looking at sporting potential for 2022.
Major events give us a goal, something to look forward and aim towards.
Three-on-three basketball, gets us thinking differently.
Sure, the plan always featured tourism and events opportunities for the city. National Basketball League has put the shortened, street ball version of the game on show in places like Albert Park during Moomba Festival and along Geelong Waterfront.
This is an Olympic-bound version of the game that at its core is about accessibility. We will have three permanent, 24-hour courts at Ballarat Sports and Events Centre.
But the crucial point is this game is played outdoors and with fewer players in action on court. Basketball Ballarat chief Peter Eddy said these key elements could be particularly appealling in a COVID normal.
At the very least this should get us considering potential pivots.
The courts will be delivered in a $5.1 million state government package for stage two development at BSEC, including a gym, learning centres and new skin on the original stadium.
There will be those who will say the money would be better spent on other community recovery projects. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is sport's vital role for our physical and mental health and social connection that goes way deeper than anything on a screen.
While there might not be infrastructure or money on hand for new facilities to transform our games, there is existing potential.
It will be interesting if concepts like netball's five-aside FastNet or rugby sevens demand more attention.
Community sports should consider tactics now to stay ahead of the game, however 'new normal' might play out.
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