Community sports are set to resume in the Waikato with the Government loosening its restrictions on gatherings that will allow popular sports codes such as rugby, football and netball to resume their seasons.
On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the gathering limit would be lifted from 10 to 100 at midday on Friday, allowing sports teams to return to full training and break away from the groups of 10s they have been training in previously at level 2.
"Cabinet has decided we can now increase the size of all gatherings to 100 from 12 noon this Friday, May 29," Ardern said.
"The move to 100 allows community sport to operate more easily and I understand sporting codes have been working on operational guidance with Sport New Zealand," Ardern said.
Last week, some of the Waikato's top football teams returned to training in multiple groups of 10, but with new figure they will be looking to step up their post Covid-19 pre-season and prepare for whatever league awaits them in June.
Melville United coach Sam Wilkinson said there has been a renewed buzz around sport after much of the country has missed out on playing for the past two months.
"It's been a frustrating time for everyone but it's fantastic that there's light at the end of the tunnel now.
"One positive to come out of the whole Covid-19 situation is that it has made us all appreciate football even more. There seems to be a really genuine buzz around the game at the moment," Wilkinson said.
"It's hugely important, not just for people's physical wellbeing but also for their mental well being. Many people, young and old rely on sport for social interaction.
"We've all been starved of that contact for six weeks so getting school and club sport back is going to bring a lot of happiness back into people's lives."
Clubs across all sporting codes are still expected to follow the social distancing measures put in place by Government, while also have contract tracing at all their facilities.