THE noise and smiles of more than 700 children returned to Mildura Basketball Stadium last week as junior competition resumed.
For the young players it was a chance to return to not only a bit more normality, but also to doing what they love.
Mildura Basketball Association general manager, Natasha Smallwood said while the league was always hopeful competition could resume this year, as restrictions extended, the committee was unsure if a worthwhile number of games would be able to be played before Christmas.
“As an association we met with the clubs to prepare before we knew it would be possible,” Smallwood said.
“This ensured there would be a quick turnaround between when we found out we could start again and resumption.
“We began work with a few scenarios in mind so we could react quickly once given the all clear.”
There have been 132 junior teams register for the competition this season, which is down on last year but Smallwood puts this down to outdoor sports being able to resume before indoor, meaning children committed to that first.
From a personal point of view, she said she was glad to see basketball resume and players back enjoying themselves.
“I think it is very important for their well-being that kids are able to get back on the court and have fun with their team mates,” Smallwood said.
“We have all spent a lot of time at home with family this year and it is good for everyone to get out more and get back to some kind of normal.”
Although competition has resumed about six weeks of matches have been lost and the association is using pre-Christmas matches to grade teams and keep the season end as close to normal to limit impact on the winter competition.