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2 sports you can play during lockdown

10 Sports You Can Still (Safely) Play During Lockdown

As Victorians and New South Welshmen will know well, lockdown doesn’t exactly bode well for your sporting pursuits. Restrictions on the type of activities we can perform, how many people we can interact with and the distance we can travel from home mean that many of us have had to put our dreams of sporting glory on hold. But it’s not all bad news. In fact, there are a number of lockdown-approved sports that you can still play, provided you stick to the rules, follow the restrictions and adhere to the ever-developing public health guidelines.

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3 sports you can play during lockdown

What Counts as Exercise?

With ‘stay at home’ orders in effect across the country, people should only leave the house for a handful of essential reasons, with travel kept to a minimum. Exercise remains one of the essential reasons you can leave the house, but while it’s a positive, that doesn’t make it an open invitation to set up the volleyball net in the park. The restrictions are tough, but they are designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Now, it bears reminding that each state and territory in Australia is handling COVID in their own way. As such, the restrictions differ from state-to-state and while what is considered exercise may be seen as a blanket term, it’s important to know what’s happening in your local area. For the purposes of uniformity, this list focuses on the latest New South Wales restrictions and guidelines, which detail certain rules that must be followed when it comes to exercising.

At the time of publication, Sydney-siders are not allowed to travel outside of 10km from their house to exercise, whereas, in Melbourne, the figure is 5km. All activities are limited to two people and must be completed by a member of your household. That means you can’t meet up for a jog with friends or step outside for a walk with your parents – it is strictly the people that you live with.

Lockdown Sports

Obviously, contact sports are out, so don’t expect to be launching into a game of rugby any time soon, but there are still options out there. Whether it be at home, in the park or in the backyard, there are sports you can play in lockdown that still abide by the restrictions. Here is a list of lockdown-approved sports in New South Wales.

Golf

1. Golf

It’s the pastime of gentlemen and it’s still on the menu. New information has revealed that golf is allowed to continue under the latest New South Wales restrictions. Golf NSW confirmed that while clubhouse operations in affected areas must be closed for normal business (except takeaway, home delivery or ‘click and collect’), golf is considered exercise and can continue if your Club has and complies with its COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Golf Shops may provide services to enable the play of golf for exercise, but must cease other retail functions. Additionally, clubs must ensure competitions are conducted in groups of no more than two players per group (unless they are from the same household) and only under the club’s  COVID-safe plan. You must remain within your own Local Government Area (LGA) OR within 10km of where you live. Under these provisions, you can also attend your local driving range.

The Advice: Groups no more than 2, must remain within LGA, no lessons

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Running

2. Running

Sure, it’s not the most interesting of sports, but it is by far the most accessible. The lockdown restrictions place very few limitations on running, meaning you can perform this exercise regularly within your own LGA. It’s important that you stay within 10km of your home, so while you may be a marathon runner, it’s worth just doing a couple of laps rather than an expansive circuit.

The Advice: Groups no more than 2, must remain within LGA

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Fishing

3. Fishing

Good news for fishermen, recreational fishing is still considered a lockdown-approved sport. The NSW DPI Fisheries confirmed that recreational fishing falls within the “reasonable excuse” provisions to leave a residence because it constitutes exercising or outdoor recreation, provided it is with no more than one other person (unless members of the same household) and provided recreational fishers follow all other requirements in relation to social distancing. However, recreational fishers in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour must now stay within their Local Government Area or travel no further than 10kms for exercise.

The Advice: Groups no more than 2, must remain within LGA, No more than 10km from home

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Basketball

4. Shooting Hoops

No, not a game of five-on-five. Under the new lockdown restrictions, you cannot play an organised game of basketball, however, you can still have a shoot-around on an outdoor court. As with all exercise, outdoor public gatherings are limited to two people (excluding members of the same household), so you can’t get the whole gang together. People must stay in their Local Government Area or within 10km of home for exercise and outdoor recreation, with no carpooling between non-household members. Physical contact should be kept to an absolute minimum and masks should be worn throughout. Better off just playing H-O-R-S-E.

The Advice: Groups no more than 2, must remain within LGA, No more than 10km from home, no car-pooling, no physical contact

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Cyclcing

5. Cycling

Similar to running, cycling is one of the sports that lockdown hasn’t really touched. If you are looking to get on your bike and move, make sure you follow the same rules and restrictions as before. Always stay within 10km of your home, so map out your ride before leaving home.

The Advice: Groups no more than 2, must remain within LGA

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Yoga

6. Yoga

One of the best sports to get into during lockdown, yoga provides mental stimulation alongside the obvious physical burn. Better yet, you can perform this one without ever leaving the house. Pick a shady spot to roll-out and you’ll be in the zone in no time. Adding a level of meditation to your yoga practice can also help mindfulness and provide positive lasting impacts on your mental health. The advice at the moment is to do this inside or in your backyard, so avoid taking your yoga mat to the park.

The Advice: Groups no more than 2, must remain within LGA, best inside

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Pilates

7. Pilates

Similar to yoga but with an added physicality, pilates is best performed at home. During lockdown, a number of pilates providers have launched online classes to get you moving. If this is your first foray into the reformer world, strap in and use the lockdown to get your body in shape.

The Advice: Groups no more than 2, must remain within LGA, best inside

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Strength training

8. Strength Training

If you haven’t got into home workouts yet, now is the time to start. Not only does traditional strength training provide a welcome boost to your physical health, but studies also have shown it can have a lasting impact on your mental health. Best of all, you don’t need to go to the gym to achieve it. There are a number of no-equipment workouts you can do, or simply add a few pieces of gear to your home gym and you’re on your way. Once again, it’s best to perform this inside or in the backyard to avoid unnecessary contact with others.

The Advice: Groups no more than 2, must remain within LGA, best inside

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Dance

9. Dance

Like yoga and pilates, dance is a great way to get the heart rate up without leaving the house. It goes without saying, but there’s nothing stopping you from pumping the tunes up and zumba-ing around the kitchen bench. Just don’t put it on TikTok, no one cares.

The Advice: Groups no more than 2, must remain within LGA, best inside

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Kick to kick

10. Kick-to-Kick

Finally, getting the ball out and exercising a bit of nostalgia is a great way to exercise during lockdown. Like all sports on this list, it’s important that you conduct this activity in groups of no more than two and within 10km of your home. It’s also pivotal that you sanitise regularly, wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

The Advice: Groups no more than 2, must remain within LGA, no lessons

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Why You Need to Keep Exercising

It must be said, working out at home or going for a run around the park isn’t exactly conducive to great fitness results, but it is an important step in normality. As the pandemic continues to evolve, the likelihood that we may be at home for a while is becoming a stark reality. Keeping a daily activity routine is just one way you can maintain some control over your everyday life. And it’s more important than you may think.

Many of our usual venues have closed, and we’re no longer getting incidental exercise from commuting or running errands. So while you might think that you’re getting enough exercise, chances are, you’re significantly down on your regular output. But it’s no reason to throw in the towel altogether. Regular exercise is good for both our physical and mental health. According to studies, it has many benefits, including:

  • reducing the risk of health conditions like stroke and heart disease
  • controlling weight
  • reducing stress and anxiety
  • improving sleep

Tips for Staying Motivated

With the benefits far outweighing the negatives, getting back on the fitness horse is all about motivation. Start by setting achievable goals, such as being active most days, or every day if you can. It doesn’t have to be a whole-body workout that pushes you to your physical limited, but getting the body moving and the heart rate up is a simple way to ensure you use it, before you lose it. Here are some simple things that might help you keep on track:

  • finding things you enjoy doing
  • varying your activities to keep them interesting
  • setting achievable goals
  • setting a routine and planning your day to include time for activity
  • monitoring your activity and progress
  • getting the support of your family and friends

Key Considerations

As mention above, each state will have differing opinions on how and where you can perform the exercise. It’s important to consult your local government information before you step outside to burn some calories. See your state or territory website for more information:

Additionally, there are some simple steps that all Australians must take in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

What You Can’t Do

It may seem straightforward enough, but there are a number of activities that you cannot do right now. The lockdown restrictions in each state have seen closure to many businesses and stay-at-home orders observed, so it’s always a good idea to stay on top of what is allowed and what is prohibited. Here is a list of exercise-based things you cannot do at the moment, as outlined by the Australian Government Department of Health:

  • go to gyms, health clubs or fitness centres
  • visit public swimming pools
  • play indoor or outdoor organised sporting events
  • attend classes, such as yoga or dance, in community centres and halls
  • use playgrounds or outdoor gyms
  • visit national or state parks
  • exercise with a group such as a boot camp or team sport

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General FAQs

Are golf courses still open in Sydney?

While clubhouse operations in COVID-affected areas must be closed for normal business (except takeaway, home delivery or ‘click and collect’), Golf NSW has been advised that golf is considered exercise and can continue if your Club has and complies with its COVID-19 Safety Plan. Golf Shops may provide services to enable the play of golf for exercise, but must cease other retail functions (unless click and collect, take away or home delivery).

Are basketball courts open?

Under the latest restrictions in New South Wales, indoor basketball courts are not currently open. That being said, outdoor public gatherings (including exercise) are limited to two people (excluding members of the same household). This means you are able to attend an outdoor basketball court provided you are only with one other person, that person is a member of your household and you are within 5km of your home.

Can regular golf club competitions be held?

In Greater Sydney, Golf NSW advises clubs to ensure competitions are conducted in groups of no more than two players per group (unless they are from the same household) and only under the club’s COVID-safe plan. You must remain within your own Local Government Area (LGA) OR within 10km of where you live.

About the author

About the author
DIGITAL EDITOR

Nick Hall

Nick Hall is the Digital Editor of Man of Many and an accomplished journalist. He completed a Bachelor of Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology, with a double major in Journalism and Music. Prior to working at Man of Many, Nick spent two years as a journalist with Inside Franchise Business, focusing on small business, finance and legal reporting. In 2021, Nick was named B&T's Best of the Best Journalist of the Year. With an extensive background in the media industry, Nick specialises in feature writing, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment content. A qualified barber and men's stylist, Nick also holds a Cert III in Barbering from the Queensland Hairdressing Academy.