TOUGH conditions didn't dampen the excitement of hundreds of junior netballers as they returned to the Golden City courts on Saturday.
Having been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, the GCNA launched its 2020 season in cold and wet wintery conditions at its West Bendigo courts.
"The weather wasn't kind to us... it was certainly a return to netball in the rain, but the day went really well," GCNA president Rachel Thomsen said on Monday.
"The rain didn't curb the enthusiasm of the kids; they were all just so stoked to be back playing netball again and it was a great first day of competition.
"We were rapt to see everyone taking note of the Protocols that are in place."
The GCNA competition is being played under the guidelines of the Netball Victoria Protcols for the return-to-competition.
Saturday's competition, which began at 9am, featured age groups from the Grade Three Clinic through to under-17s, with about 40 matches played throughout the course of the day.
"Now that we've had our first day back we have the chance this week to take stock and look at what we may need to tweak because we want to make sure everyone is in a safe environment," Thomsen said.
"I've got to say that all our volunteers were brilliant in terms of doing the jobs like cleaning the goalposts, cleaning the padding and cleaning the seating between games.
"And the Bendigo Stadium was fantastic in cleaning the toilets that we were able to offer everybody in between games, which we were really appreciative of."
The GCNA will run a 12-week competition through to September 26, followed by knockout 1 v 4 and 2 v 3 semi-finals on October 3 and culminating in grand finals on October 10.
The association had also been intending to begin its open competition later this month, but that's now likely to be cancelled following the state government announcement last Friday that the resumption of full-contact sport training and competition for people aged 19 and over in regional Victoria has been halted.
However, it is still the GCNA's intention, provided restrictions allow, to run its Wednesday night Twilight competition in October, which will provide an opportunity for open players.
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