'We're stuck doing hill sprints': Gordon urges Council to cut red tape


Gordon's Shute Shield rugby rivals have been permitted to train in groups of up to 10 people, in accordance with the state government's guidelines.

The 10-man rule enables the first-grade sides to practice their set plays, run drills and work on cohesion. In other words, it's a huge step forward as preparations ramp up for the competition restart in July. 

But the Highlanders? Not yet.

While perennial heavyweights like the Warringah Rats are back in business, the Chatswood-based Highlanders, who missed the finals in 2019, have been hamstrung as Willoughby City Council awaits the official go-ahead.

As one Gordon player tells North Shore Living, "We are stuck doing hill sprints in the dark."

"We've been waiting for two months to get back on the field with the boys and train again, so it's hard to see other teams being allowed to get back to training on the field doing rugby specific drills when we are stuck doing hill sprints in the dark," he says.

"We just want to get back into it and get back to playing rugby again. Hopefully, Council will let us return to normal next week and follow in the other councils' footsteps."

While Willoughby Council insists it supports the resumption of community sport, it won't sign off until it receives official government documentation.

"Willoughby City Council is ready to host community sport as soon as we receive the green light. Our fields are in great condition and are marked up ready for sport to re-start," a Council spokesperson tells North Shore Living. 

"The Office of Sport have been working with state sporting associations on the re-start of community sport so there is consistency across local government areas. 

"The Office of Sport are waiting on government approval for the start date and health guidelines."

Northern Beaches Council CEO Ray Brownlee confirmed training restrictions had been relaxed on the Peninsula. 

"Sporting teams across the Northern Beaches are now permitted to train in public, in groups not exceeding ten people," he says. 

"Those who hire local facilities must continue to comply with the Public Health Restrictions and Return to Sport guidelines, as outlined by the NSW Government."

Joe McDonough

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