The Bendigo Junior Classic basketball tournament will go ahead as planned this weekend.
About 270 teams from across the state will converge on Bendigo for one of the region's biggest annual sporting events.
COVID-19 cases in Victoria have caused interruptions to some major events and sporting associations, but the Bendigo Basketball Association is confident the event can be completed in a safe manner.
"All the advice from Basketball Victoria and the government is that we should be trying to live our lives as normally as possible,'' BBA president Martin Spottiswood said.
"The conditions this time last year were a lot more severe when the Delta strain had just been released. In terms of restrictions, they are far less this year compared to last year when in respect to running the tournament.
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"Last year we were only able to get one parent plus the players, coaches and support staff into the venue and they then had to leave the venue as soon as the game was finished. We had to clear the venue and clean it before allowing the next lot in.
"The government restrictions this year are nowhere near as tight, so the decision to run the tournament was a fairly easy one.
"We're still monitoring things on a daily basis. We basically have identical entry numbers as last year...we're looking forward to a great weekend of basketball."
Traditionally, the Bendigo Junior Classic is a profitable weekend for local businesses. Motels across Bendigo are usually booked out and hotels and restaurants welcome the extra patronage.
"We've had enquiries from Bendigo businesses asking if we were running the tournament because traditionally it's such a big weekend for those businesses,'' Spottiswood said.
"It's a chance for them to claw back some lost revenue, so we're very much looking forward to supporting businesses and the community."
Just as important as the financial benefits is the opportunity for junior basketballers to get back on the court.
Representative basketball tournaments were hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions in 2021 and the Bendigo Junior Classic is the first major junior event for 2022.
"From a Bendigo Junior Braves point of view this is a tournament they really look forward to,'' Spottiswood said.
"These tournaments are a big part of their basketball development."
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