After a 94-day hiatus, football returned on Saturday afternoon (20 June) as Tuggeranong United kicked off their U5 to U9 MiniRoos competitions in Wanniassa.
Tuggeranong United was the first club to launch its MiniRoos season on Saturday, with six matches played across three fields throughout the winter afternoon.
With their MiniRoos Return To Play Plan in place, the club set up exclusion zones around each field, split five age groups into three time slots and ensured a COVID-19 compliance officer was present to ensure social distancing was maintained and ACT Government restrictions were adhered to.
After months of practicing in his backyard with his dad, four-year-old Andoni Proestos was one of the first kids to put on his boots and join in after the temporary suspension of football. Andoni’s mum Laura couldn’t be happier.
“It’s really great to get back to normal and see the kids running around,” Ms Proestos said. “This is his first time playing soccer, he was so excited.
“He has been wearing his boots all morning, it’s so cute because he wouldn’t take them off.
“Andoni had been asking about it because he knew he was going to play all year. When we registered him earlier this week, he went straight into class to tell his friends he was playing soccer.”
Belle Sanderson, whose son Leo also joined this season, was glad that football had returned.
“It’s so good to see the kids out there,” Ms Sanderson said. “It’s nice to be back to real life again, going to soccer in the Canberra cold but it’s awesome.
“Everyone seems very excited, particularly the new ones who are going to have a learning curve for the first couple of weeks. They’re just bumping into each other but as a parent, it’s fun to watch.”
Tuggeranong United president Stan Mitchell said the weeks of hard work preparing for football’s return was worth it just to see the kids’ smiles.
“This is for the community, the kids, and the parents who have been locked up and doing homeschooling.,” Mitchell said. “It’s a typical winter day but it’s perfect.
“Being first to play football this weekend is terrific. I know there are other clubs starting next week but at the end of the day, it’s all about the kids. It’s the start of a new journey now which is great.”
More Capital Football clubs will launch their MiniRoos competitions in the coming weeks, with Majura FC set to start their MiniRoos games this Saturday morning (27 June) from 9am.
Photos and quotes attributed to the Canberra Times.