EASING restrictions in regional Victoria have the Wimmera's sporting communities abuzz with the potential return of competitive sport.
From yesterday, outdoor contact and non-contact sport for people aged 18 and younger, and outdoor non-contact sport for adults - with gathering and density limits - could resume.
It was welcome news for Central Wimmera Tennis Association president Jeremy Quast.
Mr Quast said the announcement was a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
"I think everybody needs sport right now," Mr Quast said.
"We're all looking for that consistency back in our lives.
"People rely on their sport, especially in country towns. There are a lot of farmers who require that outlet on the weekend, whether it is footy, netball, cricket, basketball or tennis.
"It's great news."
Mr Quast said the CWTA were awaiting further recommendations and guidelines from Tennis Victoria, but were hopeful the season could begin as early as October 10.
Wimmera cricket associations were also eagerly awaiting further word from its governing body, with Cricket Victoria expected to make an announcement on Friday.
"The planning is going terrifically well - it's all positive news so far," HCA president Chris Hopper said.
"We are still getting a picture of what restrictions we will be working with, but it's all heading in the right direction.
"It's certainly a better place than where we were sitting two weeks ago."
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Mr Hopper said a season could potentially start in either late October or early November.
He said there was also the possibility that a "practice round" could be held prior to the start of the season, for clubs to test their capacity to operate within expected COVID-safe guidelines.
Strict guidelines around the use of changerooms, equipment and social distancing are expected.
Golf Australia meanwhile was on the front foot this week, announcing the return of competition golf and groups of four people.
Golfers had been able to enjoy social golfing during the second lockdown with a maximum of two players per group.
Horsham Golf Club president Leo Delahunty said the news had created another wave of excitement.
"The new restrictions have been eased, we're going back to playing in groups of four and people are pretty excited," Mr Delahunty said.
"Who knows what is going to happen with lockdowns from here, but there is certainly a high level of excitement and interest from members and visitors from across the region at the moment.
"I fully expect that we will be pretty busy for the next few months."
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