This is the weekend that was meant to be the start of the 2020 football and netball seasons.
The Loddon Valley and Heathcote District leagues were set to start the season proper, with Bendigo the following week.
Athletes that put in countless hours in the gym and at training sessions during pre-season face the reality that competitions might be significantly postponed, or worst case scenario, will not go ahead.
In addition to the stresses and anxieties related to coronavirus, the lack of an outlet for athletes could put even more pressure on mental wellbeing.
Sports Chaplaincy Australia country Victoria manager Bruce Claridge said it was the most "significant challenge we've faced in sport".
"One of the major concerns we have is isolation. Athletes look forward to training nights night which then leads into game time on the weekend," Claridge said.
"Now that we are without that outlet and are primarily in isolation people are losing that connection which is putting pressure on mental health.
"We need people to remain connected."
Teams might not be able to meet for their regular training, games and social sessions, but Claridge said it was the ideal time to be innovative in how we stay connected.
"One thing that I've been encouraging clubs to do is to maintain some form of consistency. There's no reason why clubs and coaches can't put something together," he said.
"It could be an online chat session with the team to help keep the consistency of a usual training session."
Now that we are without that outlet and are primarily in isolation people are losing that connection which is putting pressure on mental health.- Bruce Claridge
Another concern for Claridge was the combination of no sport, in addition to the overall challenge we are all facing during this period of isolation.
"We're facing challenges in a general sense, with increased anxiety and financial pressures which can unfortunately bring about family violence," he said.
"There's lot of adrenaline that would usually be let out on a sporting field which won't happen during isolation."
To be able to face the challenge, Claridge will be conducting online training days for sports chaplains.
"Our importance isn't realised until an incident happens, but we are involved with clubs to help them through debriefs and help people through challenges," he said.
"We are now in a unique circumstance as this is a blanket challenge, not just a once off."
The challenge going forward has also been noted by psychologists throughout the region.
Castlemaine's Dr Katie Wood who is a clinical psychologist and senior lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology, works with athletes at the Bendigo Academy of Sport.
In the past Dr Wood has delivered talks on the psychology of sport related to positive mindset, preparing for competitions and how to cope with injury.
However, the current coronavirus pandemic has brought on a whole new level of concern for not just regional areas but metropolitan too.
"My concern for athletes is around connection to their sports community, which we know is protective to mental wellness," Dr Wood said.
"They aren't able to train and come together as a group, which is of course for all the right reasons at the moment, but it's the loss of an important connection.
"Particularly in regional towns where there is a strong sense of community around sport."
Dr Wood also recommended that clubs and coaches keep up connections within their teams to maintain a sense of routine.
"In elite athletes there's a real concern on how they will cope mentally with all that's going on. For example in the football world the clubs schedule almost everything for their players," Dr Wood said.
"Now we're in a situation where the players need to make their own schedules for the first time ever and at a grassroots level it would be very similar.
"It's important grassroots athletes manage their own routines but it's a case of where will they find the motivation to do do.
"I know plenty of coaches are doing virtual catch-ups, but not all are consistently doing it during a time where as much as possible teams need to stay connected."
To contact Sports Chaplaincy Australia, 1300 518 058 or directly with Bruce Claridge on 0412 478 744.
Lifeline encourages anyone experiencing heightened anxiety, emotional distress or needs a confidential talk to contact 13 11 14 anytime or text 0477 131 114 from 6pm to midnight.
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