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School Sport NZ suspends all events on national calendar

School Sport NZ suspends all events on national calendar
March 17, 2020

As the world grapples with the spread of Coronavirus School Sport New Zealand has suspended all events on its national calendar.

School Sport NZ made the decision following the New Zealand Government having advised against holding events that would bring more than 500 people together.

In a statement, School Sport NZ the decision would be reviewed on 6th April and that the paramount factor was "the health and safety of students, staff and community volunteers".

The statement advised "some events where alternative dates are not possible will be cancelled, others may be postponed and we will work with national sports organisations to make announcements in due course."

A number of national events were set to be held during the week starting 30th March, known as summer tournament week.

Those included rowing's Maadi Cup, at Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel, the national water polo championships in Auckland, and the national volleyball championships in Palmerston North.

School Sport NZ's statement said that with schools travelling from all over the country, there was "a potentially heightened risk of wider community spread by comparison to regional or local events".

It added “medical advice is that the risk of transmission is low at community level, where there has been no person-to-person spread, but significantly higher in situations in which airports, air-travel and hotels are involved as characterised by events on the School Sport NZ national calendar.

"While student participants are registered, the 'un-ticketed' nature of events on the national calendar make it extremely difficult to contact trace as other attendees are not registered.

"The close personal contact nature of sport carries a heightened risk of person to person transfer."

Image of Aon Maadi Cup, courtesy of Aon Maadi Cup.

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