SOUTH Bendigo netballers have welcomed a slice of normality after returning to the training track for the first time in two months.
The Bloods and Kangaroo Flat were the first two BFNL clubs to resume training last Thursday after Netball Victoria gave the green light to teams to return to practice, albeit on a limited and heavily regulated scale.
At Harry Trott Oval, South Bendigo's 17-and-under players were the first to be put through their paces, before making way for their A-grade and A-reserve club-mates.
At least 10 minutes at the start of each the one hour sessions were devoted to a rundown of the strict protocols that are required in relation to player hygiene and keeping club facilities and equipment clean.
A-grade coach and South Bendigo's director of netball coaching Jannelle Hobbs said her players were just rapt to see each other again, many of them for them for the first time since training was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"They were a little bit rusty some of them, as you would expect, but it was fantastic just to get out there and see everyone again," she said.
"They are a close knit group and have really been missing each other.
"It was only an hour - that's all you are allowed to do at the moment. So they will continue to do their home programs and home fitness for the time being.
"They were just rapt to see each other. We were only missing one player from the A-grade team, which was a great turnout."
The Bloods will continue to train each Thursday in groups of 10 until further notice in the hopes of a season being launched in some form.
A-grade captain Chloe Adams described the first-hit out as a welcome change from the weekly online Zoom training players had been taking part in through their time in isolation.
The Bloods defender, who is also assistant coach of the 17-and-under team, believed players had coped relatively well during the hiatus.
"It's been tough at times ... part of the reason you play sport and netball is that club environment and being around each other," Adams said.
"Obviously not playing has been hard, but the social side of it has been even trickier. We are so close, so that has made it harder. (But) in a strange way, I think it's made us closer."
At Kangaroo Flat, the Roos returned to the court in two groups of 10 in two different time slots.
Coach Jayden Cowling said training at this point was optional.
"We realise all the girls might not be comfortable training at this point, so we'd have an optional training first, but it worked out really well," he said.
really well," he said.
"It wasn't exactly an intense training session, it's not like we were warming up for a game.
"We just did enough to catch up and have a few laughs, so it was all about getting them together again. Some of them hadn't seen each other since the last training (in March)."
The Roos players had arrived well-briefed on the return to play guidelines and essential hygiene protocols as outlined by Netball Victoria and Netball Australia
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