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Return to Play: Take 2

Sport has been given the go-ahead to return in full force, the Government confirmed yesterday.

As the country moves into Phase 3 on its road map to recovery, it means that sport can return with spectators as of Sunday.

Cup Match 2019 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

This will be particularly good news for those who have been fretting over the prospects of county cup cricket and Cup Match.

The size of the crowds allowed for each event will be determined in consultation with the Department of Health. All other guidance can be found in the Return to Play document.

For athletes, this phase is subject to monthly testing unless immunised; permitted group size; and ensuring that all public health guidance is followed.

During Stage 4 all precautions should be practised.

“The ministry takes this opportunity to remind the sporting community that controlling the Covid-19 spread is an ongoing effort,” the sports ministry statement said.

“In that regard, the ministry appreciates the patience, collaboration and support of the public and sports community.”

The Government cleared the way for teams to return to training on April 20 when David Burt, the Premier, announced during a press conference that sport had been returned to Phase 3 of the Return to Play guidelines.

Athletes are required to be tested before resuming training and then tested again every month as a safety precaution.

The Bermuda Cricket Board, which had hoped to start the domestic in early May, is now targeting June 19 for season-opening games ahead of county competitions and Cup Match. Bermuda’s senior and under-19 teams are also scheduled to compete in overseas tournaments in August and September.

The Evening Cricket League has been given the green light to start on Tuesday with two groups of five. Each team will play the others in their group twice and teams in the other group once.

Last weekend saw a successful return of the Bermuda Half-Marathon Derby with crowds lining the route from St George’s to Bernard Park.

Other popular sports events such as powerboat racing, cycling and sailing are also planned for the summer months when crowds will be allowed to attend.

The Schroders Summer Long Course Swimming Championships will start today at the National Aquatic Centre and continue through to Sunday.

The Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association received an exemption for 125 people to attend, including swimmers, officials and coaches.

The start of the powerboat season has been delayed three times after racing on April 18, May 9 and May 23 was cancelled because of uncertainty regarding Covid restrictions. Now the Bermuda Power Boat Association is looking at a June 13 start, with the Round the Island race scheduled for August 8.

Cycling will continue on Sunday with the BJC Team Time-Trial on North Shore, followed by the Time-Trial Championships at Clearwater Beach on June 20 and the Road Race National Championships on June 27, also at Clearwater.

The rescheduled Mountain Bike National Championships are set to take place on July 4 at Ferry Reach.

Comet sailing was held on Sunday in St George’s Harbour with the biggest event on the calendar, the Edward Cross Memorial Long Distance race, scheduled for National Heroes Day on June 21.

The sailors from the three clubs — West End Sailboat Club, Mid-Atlantic Boat and Sports Club and East End Mini Yacht Club — are setting their sights on the iconic race.

The race, which is in its 77th year, is set to start in Dockyard and take the fleet along North Shore and through Town Cut to the finish line in St George’s Harbour.

“We are going down [to St George’s] this year and right now all the boats are at East End Mini Yacht Club because that is where we were going to start the season off for club racing,” said veteran sailor Gladwin Lambert whose father, Canute, won the first race in 1944.

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Published June 03, 2021 at 8:46 am (Updated June 04, 2021 at 8:00 am)

Return to Play: Take 2

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