The timing of this evening’s COVID announcement is not optimal for those involved in weekend community sport. Outside of Auckland, where weekend sport is already in doubt or cancelled, many organisations and their volunteers are planning for delivering opportunities for community participation in sport under the national requirements for Alert Level 2, but with uncertainty as to whether or not this will be possible. For many Kiwi households, preparations for weekend sport begin on Friday, with the weekend routine based on sporting arrangements for children and adults alike.

Since community sport resumed in June, the benefits to the well-being of New Zealand society have progressed hand-in-hand with the improved economic situation for many. The feel-good factor of participating in club activities either as a player, volunteer, supporter or casual spectator has been apparent in the large numbers attending suburban sports-fields over the past three months.

Sport in the community is about much more than the game itself, with the inclusive nature of "club" proving to be an antidote to the social isolation which can arise with or without the impact of COVID-19. The excitement of being able to compete as part of a team, is important to many members of the team-of-five-million. As part of its consideration of the physical impacts and costs of COVID-19, the cost to the mental health and social well-being of Kiwis arising from possible national cancellation of community sport must also be considered by Cabinet as part of its deliberations of current COVID status levels.