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Tennis go-ahead, other sports wait

HERMANUS – Many sports, including tennis, squash and rugby, were put on hold during Level 5 and 4 of the national lockdown, but the revised advanced Level 3 regulations could mean playing and training of some of these sports can start again.

The Hermanus Tennis Club confirmed all its league players could start again on 22 June, while social play opened again on 30 June.

The club, however, stipulated that players who had been in contact with anyone that has Covid-19 and players who suddenly showed any symptoms such as fever, coughing, shortness of breath, a sore throat and loss of smell or taste were not allowed to play.

All players will also be expected to complete an indemnity form and a compliance record sheet every time they play. Players are reminded to wear a mask on arrival and departure (according to the club, they do not have to wear a mask while playing). Players are also requested to bring their own balls and mark it clearly with permanent marker, as each player is allowed to serve only with their own tennis balls.

Squash South Africa confirmed that although it was listed as a non-contact sport, along with tennis, it was still waiting to hear from the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture about when they can start again.

“This is all the good news – most likely to return to training first will be the professional players, eventually building up to the league and tournaments,” reads Squash SA’s statement. “The timeline will be provided by the department.”

Rugby players at various clubs across the Western Cape still have to wait before they can start exercising.

Mark Ward from the Boland Rugby Union (BRU) says the union will make further announcements on “returning to play” as soon as it has received a directive from SA Rugby.

“There is speculation that we will have only one round of our local league, and this is why we have to keep in shape. I am also still part of the Boland team, and the league updates us regularly when it receives news from SA Rugby.

“During Level 3 we must exercise on our own, but at least we are sent exercise programmes to help keep us in shape,” says Brendon Hunter, captain of Hawston SVN Rugby Club. “At this stage we are waiting for SA Rugby [to issue directives].”

Hermanus Bowling Club president Piet Meyer says the club is busy preparing for whenever it can start again. “At the moment we don’t have any definite indications, but we are expecting to open in one way or another over the next week or two,” he said.

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