It will be close to business as usual for many major sporting codes after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced stadium capacity has been doubled.
Moving from 25 to 50%, up to 40,000 people will be permitted to attend events at the largest venue, ANZ Stadium.
At the same time many cycling and community sporting events continue to suffer. No more than 20 people can attend a community sporting event and there’s a cap of 500 when it comes to larger events such as Bicycling Australia’s four major Gran Fondo events. You can read our previous article on the issue here.
Interestingly, there are some exemptions available for netball events – another close contact sport – yet no liberty for cyclists who are out improving their health, exercising in clean country air.
On Thursday the NSW Premier said “a large venue, so long as it has tickets and seats and zones and very specific caveat is able to be a large and controlled event … especially if it is outdoors.”
‘The Great Disparity’
Yet responsibly-managed outdoor cycling events – with strict and gruelling Covid and participant safety plans in place – remain off limits. Furthermore these are events that bolster communities, deliver enormous financial assistance in this most difficult year, and help improve the health and mental wellbeing of the many participants, volunteers, organisers, sponsors and supporters.
James Yaffa, Publisher of Bicycling Australia and founder of four major charity-focussed cycling events, said the issue needs to urgently be addressed.
“It’s good to see the NSW Government relaxing attendance numbers at various stadiums in NSW for the NRL finals season,” Mr Yaffa said.
“But it also highlights the great disparity in comparison to other recreational sports and what they are allowed to do.”
Over To You: What Do You Think About The Disparity In Covid Laws?