Players of field-based sports aren't the only ones enjoying a long-awaited return to competition, with many of the region's boardriders clubs coming together again to resume their disrupted surfing seasons.
Surfing, of course, has been one sport that has continued on in Australia unhindered by the coronavirus, but with the competitive side of it coming to a sharp halt in late March, boardriders clubs have had to forego their monthly competitions until recently.
In the Great Lakes, Boomerang Beach Boardriders has been the first to return to competition, with the club holding its third monthly contest of the year on Sunday, June 21.
Club president, Adam Salt, said around 60 members turned up on the day and enjoyed better than expected waves at North Boomerang.
We usually miss two comps a year with big seas or bad weather, so we're doing pretty good.Adam Salt
He believed the precautionary measures the club was required to put in place - such as spacing judges 1.5 metres apart, soaking competitors' rash vests in a bucket of disinfectant between heats, and foregoing their usual barbecue - did little to dampen the mood among surfers.
"It was a good response. Everyone was missing it," Mr Salt said.
Winners on the day included Zeb Watts (open men's and under-18 boys), Mel Bartz (open women's), Jye Kelly (under-16 boys), Koby Salt (under-12 boys), Leila Salt (junior girls), and Steve Elliot (masters).
Having only missed competitions in April and May because of COVID-19, Mr Salt said the club was more or less on track for the year.
"We usually miss two comps a year with big seas or bad weather, so we're doing pretty good," he said.
Black Head Longboarders is scheduled to hold its first contest since March this Sunday, July 19, meeting at Diamond Beach at 8am.
With large swells predicted throughout the week as a result of a deep low pressure system in the Tasman Sea, club member Trevor King said it was possible there would be too much swell to hold the competition, but a call would be made on the day.
Forster Bodyboarding Club will return to the water the following weekend, with its second club round of the year scheduled to kick off at Nine Mile Beach, Tuncurry at 7am on Sunday, July 26.
Forster Tuncurry Boardriders is set to hold its first contest since March on Sunday, August 2.
Club president, Darren McDonagh, said the members were excited to get back together again and the club would be following all the guidelines provided by Surfing NSW.
"We've been missing it to be honest," he said.
"It's been pretty ordinary without it."
The club has decided to extend its season to December (it usually runs from July to June) as a result of the COVID-19 disruption.
Shane Cadden currently leads the open men's division.
Mr McDonagh said the club would do everything it could to run its sixth annual Live Like Toby Retro Teams Challenge in December.
The popular event is held in honour of former Forster Tuncurry Boardriders' member, Toby Flew, who died of cancer in 2014.
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